News Analysis |
There was a huge backlash on social media as a video on social media went viral in which a newly elected PTI MPA is seen violently slapping a citizen on Karachi’s National Stadium road. The Member Provincial Assembly of PTI is Dr. Imran Ali Shah was elected from #PS129 (Karachi Central VII). He is the son of Pakistan Peoples Party’s Kausar Amir and Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Dr. Muhammad Shah (late).
In a video, Dr. Rehana Shah said that she married Muhammad Ali Shah, father of Dr. Imran Ali Shah, in 1989 but his first wife and their children did not accept the marriage. Dr. Rehana and Muhammad Ali Shah have a son, who is currently studying in the U.S. In the video, Dr. Rehana claims that her stepson physically assaulted her once and has always threatened her and her son. She claims, Imran Ali Shah and his brother, Junaid Ali Shah, were politically affiliated with MQM and used their power to keep Rehana and her son away. “Imran and his brother did not let me come to Pakistan to attend my husband’s funeral and when I finally managed to come to Pakistan, I found out that Imran had forged a succession certificate, depriving me and my son from our lawful inheritance and share in my late husband’s assets including the AO Clinic.”
Appealing to PTI chairman Imran Khan to provide her family justice, Dr. Rehana said that her son’s life was in danger. “Imran Ali Shah had threatened me and my son and we feel unsafe now that he has became an MPA.”
Dr. Imran Ali Shah is also alleged to be a British National.
Mr Imran Ali Shah are you a British National your PP copy hereunder: did you relinquish the nationality before contesting the election n is PTI in the know of it. pic.twitter.com/NfzJ3NPW5T
— Enver Baig (@SenatorEB17) August 15, 2018
Individuals on social media are wondering whether they ended up voting for MQM or Gullu Butt in disguise of PTI.
The video where Dr. Imran Ali Shah thrashes Daud Chauhan
The citizen who is seen being assaulted by the MPA is Senior Additional Director of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority Daud Chauhan. The fact that there has been such a huge uproar over the incident is also a testament to the power of social media. No longer can the powerful hide with impunity after assaulting citizens who elected them into office. The MPA in question had to make an appearance on a national news channel to clear up his side of the story.
Faisal Vawda, a PTI leader, said that the act was unacceptable behavior. “I apologize on behalf of my party’s MPA and, rest assured, justice will be done and will make sure it’s not repeated again,”
According to Dr. Shah, he merely ‘shoved’ aside from the citizen because he was repeatedly bumping his car against another poor citizen’s. He could not let ‘injustice’ proceed any further, he said. Being a responsible citizen and a member of the provincial assembly I have more responsibility towards my people, The viral clip is half-truth and misleading. I cannot turn a blind eye on someone doing injustice to a citizen for any reason.”
However, this position is difficult to substantiate as there is no video evidence of Mr. Chouhan bumping his car against any other poor citizen. There is evidence, however, of Dr. Shah aggressively slapping Daud Chouhan, while the MPA’s bodyguards hurl abuses at him. There has been intense criticism across social media for the behavior shown by the newly elected member provincial assembly.
Many people are arguing that the lawmaker should be charged with battery assault. Some have said that the senior leadership of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf must take serious action against Dr. Imran Ali Shah. There has been condemnation by members of the PTI as well as other parties as well.
Dr imran shah jeep BD7861 NEWLY JOINED PTI WE DONT NEED THIS TABDILI 1/2 pic.twitter.com/BoS4SFkZo1
— Waqas Umar (@wumar1977) August 14, 2018
Faisal Vawda, a PTI leader, said that the act was unacceptable behavior. “I apologize on behalf of my party’s MPA and, rest assured, justice will be done and will make sure it’s not repeated again,” he said. The nominee for the post of Governor Sindh, Imran Ismail, also said, “No one has the right to take laws into their own hands.” A senator from the Pakistan Peoples Party, Bahramand Khan also condemned the behavior of Dr. Imran Ali Shah. “Legal action should be taken against Imran Ali Shah”, he said.
How this situation is dealt with is indicative of the vision the new government has for the next five years. The leader of the PTI has vowed not to take unnecessary protocol.
The president of PTI Karachi, Firdous Naqvi, said in a tweet that he has seen the video and a show cause notice has been an issue to Dr. Imran Ali Shah. Accordingly, Dr. Shah must present his side of the story within 24 hours, failing which will be referred to a disciplinary committee for further action. Naqvi said that once all the facts are known, “we will let everyone know of the future course of action.”
Reportedly, the leader of the PTI, Imran Khan has taken strict notice of the incident and has directed the local authorities to pursue the appropriate course of action. Dr. Imran Ali Shah, for his part, paid a visit to the home of Daud Chouhan. A video emerged where they are both seen hugging and Shah are apologizing to Chouhan. Mr. Daud has forgiven Dr. Shah for the ‘altercation’.
The senior additional director of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority said he “cannot let anyone, who comes to my door, leave empty-handed the matter is now in Imran Khan’s court; I hope he will do justice”. He further said, “I’m a poor man, I don’t wish to pursue any legal action. Imran Ali Shah is wealthy and powerful and has dozens of guards.” He also said that he still doesn’t understand why Imran Ali Shah beat him.
After the apology, the son of Daud Chouhan, published a Facebook post which also went viral. He said that his father is a friend of Firdous Shamim and Najeeb Haroon. He asked if his father wasn’t known to influential people like these, would there have been an apology by a member provincial assembly? “Where is the state?” he asked.
Unfortunately, events like these are not new in Pakistan. The powerful tend to get away with such acts and getting involved in the criminal justice system is more of a hassle than any help in seeking justice. Another high-profile case of the powerful getting away with crime in Pakistan was the murder of the son of a DPO at the hands of the son a Sindhi wadera.
Similarly, a child was crushed to death by a vehicle in a PML-N rally last year. The most infamous case, of course, is that of the murders in model town where the instruments of the state were used to kill innocent citizens. To this day, the culprits in these cases have not been punished under the law.
Read more: Pakistan road crash kills 18: police
Now, with the promise of a “New Pakistan”, all eyes are on the senior leadership of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf. How this situation is dealt with is indicative of the vision the new government has for the next five years. The leader of the PTI has vowed not to take unnecessary protocol. In the video, the MPA’s bodyguards are seen threatening Daoud Chouhan. Will things change this time around? Or are we in for more of the same?