You Can’t Get Away With A 'No Pakistanis Allowed' Policy In Pakistan

by
Sameera Ehteram
Although Muslims in Pakistan are not permitted pork or alcohol by law, they will take great offence to being denied entry by a restaurant that serves both prohibited items.

French Restaurant Controversy

Although Muslims in Pakistan are not permitted pork or alcohol by law, they will take great offence to being denied entry by a restaurant that serves both prohibited items.

A French restaurant caused outrage among Pakistani social media activists when it was discovered that the eatery barred the entry of locals. It was closed down by authorities shortly after this tweet, which is the spark that lit the fire.

Locals were incensed over the ‘select entry’ criteria of the establishment.

Amazingly, this is the most vocal and sentimental that social media activists have been in quite some time, leaving some scratching their heads over the reason.

The establishment in question is called “La Maison”, which popped up in October 2013.

It served French cuisine and had a 20 seating arrangement, making it extremely exclusive.  However, it turned out to be a bit too exclusive when it refused to let any of the locals in. Yes, the exclusive restaurant had a ‘No-Pakistani’ policy.

Philippe Lafforgue, the owner, defends his restaurant’s policy, “It’s not a discrimination thing. It’s a culturally sensitive thing. How can I serve pork and booze to Pakistanis without getting into trouble? So I have a rule: no locals getting in.”

Perhaps Laffrouge could have been more tactful with his approach. Denying access to Pakistanis in their own country after seeing their passports was likely to rub people the wrong way. And it did.

On the other hand, the owner would be hanging an ‘open for bombing’ sign on the door if he publically announced that his restaurant served non-halal meat, pork and alcohol.

Needless to say, the elite of the country, who like to wet their beaks in some alcohol every now and then, were quite upset over their right to access prohibited items. How ironic. 

Although Laffrouge had the best of intentions and was being considerate of cultural sensitivities, people were overjoyed that his restaurant was sealed.

A few years ago, there was another restaurant serving French cuisine called 'The Cordon Rouge' which was forced to remove its ‘foreigners only’ sign.

Perhaps the locals are suffering from a colonial hangover when signs like ‘dogs and Indians are not allowed’ were put outside restaurants and clubs established by the British rulers.

The lesson to be learnt here is that one cannot serve alcohol in Pakistan, but in case an establishment chooses to do, it dare not stop Pakistanis from indulging.

Carbonated.TV