The Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) Pakistan has become the centre of attention after a video surfaced online of a female FIA constable assaulting a woman, Haseena Begum, at the airport. Several security officers refused to intervene and let the incident carry on. FIA officials denied the news until it started being reported by mainstream media channels. Authorities in the country seem to be oblivious to the fact that due to the advent of social media, news spreads like wildfire. An investigation has been launched on the orders of the Interior Ministry, and the officials involved have been suspended.
While social media users played a huge part in bringing the story to the forefront, and highlighted the shocking behaviour of the constable; there are certain key aspects that need to be highlighted.
Initial investigation has revealed that Haseena Begum hit the constable first, which is why the constable reacted. An apology has been issued by her husband to the FIA in response to that. This piece of information was missing on social media- a reminder that what one sees on Facebook may not be the whole story, and jumping to conclusions only harms both parties involved. While it is important to stand up against the injustices of the system, it is also important to learn the responsible use of social media and ask the questions when context is not provided.
The incident could have been prevented if the individuals involved had displayed a bit of patience. Citizens need to understand the authority various institutions have within a state and the seriousness of the charge of assaulting an official. The constable should not have resorted to excessive violence in return, and shamed herself and the institution she represented. There are civil ways to resolve disputes, and both citizens and state officials need to be taught that public violence has no place in a civilised society.