'Slapping' of citizen: PTI MPA Imran Ali Shah suspended until disciplinary committee takes final decision
After a video of newly elected Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MPA Imran Ali Shah physically assaulting a citizen drew ire on social media, the party's Sindh president Firdaus Shamim Naqvi clarified that the under-fire lawmaker's party membership will remain suspended until their provincial disciplinary committee reviews the matter and takes a final decision.
"The party membership of Imran Shah will remain suspended until a final decision is made on this matter," Naqvi is quoted as saying by the party's Karachi media department. "We received his response, which was forwarded to the disciplinary committee. The final decision will be in accordance with whatever the committee recommends."
"In the Naya Pakistan (New Pakistan) of Imran Khan there will be one law for the powerful and weak," Naqvi added.
Naqvi's clarification was in contrast to the party's earlier statement saying that contrary to media reports, Shah had not been suspended.
In that statement, which was shared with DawnNewsTV, the party also said that Shah had sought 24 hours more to submit his response to the committee.
Shah, who was elected from Karachi's PS-129 constituency, was caught on video slapping a man multiple times during a heated argument in the middle of a road. The video showed Shah accompanied by his armed guards who also threatened the man.
Party leadership had also taken notice of the incident and issued a show-cause notice to the MPA-elect, while Naqvi had tweeted that he had launched a probe into the incident.
Shah had subsequently posted a video apologising for "hurting anyone's feelings", and insisting that he had only "pushed" the man, even though the clip circulated on the internet had showed him raising his hand and hitting the man multiple times.
Shah further said that he had stepped out of his car after he saw the man "repeatedly hitting a poor man's car" and added that he "could not stand back and watch 'injustice' take place like this".
On Wednesday, Shah posted a video apparently on his own Twitter account showing him hugging a man identified as 'Dawood', and looking apologetic. In another tweet, Shah posted pictures with the man as well.
PTI Spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry tweeted today that the party had referred the matter to the PTI Sindh Chapter. "They’ll inquire into the issue and if needed appropriate action will be taken," he added.
'Would he have apologised if my father was not friends with PTI leaders?'
Meanwhile, Facebook page It's all about Pakistan posted a statement attributed to Dawood's son questioning the writ of the state.
The statement claimed that Dawood was a senior additional director of the Civil Aviation Authority and a friend of PTI MPA Firdaus Naqvi and MNA Najeeb Haroon. Haroon and Shah were on the same PTI panel (NA-256, PS-129) in the July 25 elections.
The post questioned if Shah would have still visited Dawood and offered an apology "if he was not the friend of Firdous Shamim sahab and Najeeb Haroon sahab".
The post referred to Shah's apology video, saying that even if Dawood had "bumped into another car and that man and my father exchanged some words", he had still not launched a physical attack.
The statement clarified that Dawood did not associate Shah's actions with PTI, but went on to criticise the lack of action by law enforcing authorities.
It also asked users if they would have "accepted the apology" had the man been their father.