The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has directed its lawmaker Dr Imran Ali Shah to pay half a million rupees to the Edhi Homes and treat 20 patients referred by the Edhi Trust for free at his clinic as penalty for assaulting a citizen earlier this month.
The PTI MPA from PS-129 (Central-VII) was caught on tape as he, flanked by his armed guards, repeatedly slapped Dawood Chauhan on Stadium Road on August 14. The party had taken notice of the incident after an outrage on social and censure in the mainstream media.
The party’s disciplinary committee found Dr Shah’s behaviour unacceptable, observing that no individual has the right to take the law into their own hands, and that there is an added responsibility on the people in power to especially make sure that the law is at all times enforced and never abused.
“Considering all the circumstances, Dr Shah is directed to pay Rs500,000 to the Edhi Homes & Orphanage Centres from his own pocket, and to provide free treatment to 20 orthopaedic patients recommended by the Edhi Trust at his own [AO] clinic,” read the committee’s decision.
The disciplinary body also warned the lawmaker that upon receiving any similar complaint against him in future, the committee would recommend to the PTI that his name be struck off the party membership register.
“Every elected member of the national and provincial assemblies must understand that they represent not only their political party but this country,” stated the committee. “This action of the MPA caused not only the PTI but the entire nation much shame.”
The matter was referred by PTI Karachi chief Firdous Shamim Naqvi to the three-member disciplinary committee comprising Mrs Rana Zaki Shamsi, Dr Parvez Ghaffar and Mehmood Moulvi two days after the incident. Dr Shah submitted an apology along with his reply to the body.
He had earlier also called on Chauhan at his house to apologise to him for his behaviour. Talking to the media outside his residence after that meeting, Chauhan said he had accepted Dr Shah’s apology after PTI leaders Naqvi, Najeeb Haroon and Imran Ismail intervened to resolve the matter.
Chauhan, who works for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said he was driving towards the Aga Khan University Hospital with his grandchildren when his car “kissed” the bumper of the vehicle in front of his amid a traffic jam.
The CAA official claimed that when the driver of the other vehicle saw that no damage was done, he advised him to be careful and drove away, but Dr Shah emerged on the scene and started an altercation.
Late on the night of Independence Day, while talking to the media, the elderly Chauhan had cast doubts on the country’s criminal justice system, wondering if he would have been able to prove that he was manhandled, had he taken the lawmaker to court.
“You know Pakistan and this society better than me,” Chauhan told the journalist who asked him if he was going to file a police complaint. “Which court would punish him? What will I be able to prove and what not? I have neither money nor nerve [to pursue this case]. I am just a salaried person.”
He, however, thanked the person who made the video of the incident and put it on social media. The incident caused outrage, with people demanding that the PTI take action against the MPA.
Later in the evening, the party issued a show-cause notice to the legislator asking him to present his version of his “unacceptable” actions within 24 hours.