Disciplinary Committee of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has penalised member of Sindh Assembly Imran Shah for manhandling an ordinary citizen on the road. The committee’s action against Shah should discourage other party workers and members from taking the law into their own hands. Yet, the promise of Naya Pakistan where every citizen will have self-respect and dignity is far from reality.

A lawmaker assaulting an ordinary citizen shows the overall psyche of the nation: a passion for taking the law into one’s hands! Can we blame Hollywood and Bollywood for this? Maybe PTI workers and leadership thinking of themselves as the only responsible citizens have gotten some inspiration from movies. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to blame movies altogether.

If the people elected to the most prestigious institutions cannot show restraint, then we should expect the worst from the ordinary people. The Faisalabad incident already reveals people’s eagerness to take the law into their own hands.

PTI chairman, Imran Khan, needs to imbibe some civic sense in his party members. This is not the first time that a person representing PTI has considered violence as his only resort. A few days back, another MPA, Zia Bangash in Kohat manhandled a pharmacy technician. Some months ago, Naeemul Haque attempted to justify his slapping of Daniyal Aziz by saying that Imran had praised him for his action.

One’s actions should speak for one’s words. The vision of Naya Pakistan cannot materialise if party officials and members manhandle ordinary citizens. Before anything else, one thing that PTI officials, members and workers need to learn is respecting the law.

Some people still wonder if a monetary penalty can repair the ruptured dignity and self-esteem of the assaulted citizen. Beating people before the public gaze cannot teach people to perform their duty. Attacking people for not fulfilling their responsibilities weaken people’s belief in their equality before and the supremacy of law.