No ordinary man

Police officers must not be punished for having Jamshed Dasti's vehicle stopped for over-speeding.

Editorial July 29, 2013
Jamshed Dasti. PHOTO: FILE

A seat in the National Assembly should bring with it responsibility and a readiness to set an example. Instead, it too often does just the opposite. This has proved true even in the case of MNA Jamshed Dasti, who, during his election campaign and before, consistently projected himself as a ‘man of the people’, picking up a huge amount of support as an ordinary man rather than a powerful politician like his opponents. With this slogan, he entered the NA as an independent candidate and retaining this status voted for Mian Nawaz Sharif in the prime ministerial poll.

However, it seems Dasti is not yet ready to embrace his status as an ‘ordinary’ citizen when it comes to routine matters. According to a report in this newspaper, this weekend he evaded the Motorway Police three times along the motorway, as his driver sped away apparently on the MNA’s instructions to avoid receiving a speeding ticket for breaking the speed limit. When Dasti’s vehicle was
finally stopped at the Swabi Interchange, he argued fiercely against the Rs700 ticket, threatening the police officers with dire consequences if they did not respect what he called his privilege as a parliamentarian and his dignity.

The incident is a deeply saddening one. It indicates the mindset of our politicians, even those who claim to belong to the ranks of the poor, and illustrates how power can corrupt. We must hope that parliament shows an ability to back right rather than wrong when Dasti moves the matter for the privilege committee of the lower house as he is almost bound to do. The police officers concerned must not in any way be punished for performing their duties so diligently; indeed, Dasti ought to explain to us why he attempted to try and escape the law. We badly need to establish the rule of law for all citizens if we are to get away from our present state of disorder and this is something we must make every effort to do with the help of lawmakers and others with influence.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2013.

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azher zahour | 10 years ago | Reply

There is a thing called cross-checking and providing other party a chance to defend itself, has anybody asked dasti's point of view before writing blogs and editorials( ET i m talking to u) ? another point , how can Police share the details of a traffic voilation with media , whereas they are not allowed according to the rules of service ? this genuinely seems to be a smear campaign against a man of people , who has taken some of the biggest fuedals , who sucked people's blood to cleaners..... Has Dasti ever done anything near to what our KHARS used to do with their serfs as explained by Tehmina Durrani in my fuedal lord ! i m nt saying what he did he right bt nobody is giving him a chance to defend himself...

Shaukat Naeem Ghumman | 10 years ago | Reply

It’s so pathetic – I never thought he is so arrogant, ill-mannered and weird guy. He always poses to be down to earth, law abiding citizen of the country and belongs to a poor family. Parliamentarian does not mean to encroach upon the privileges provided to them. Yes, power always corrupts the people especially with such sort of attitude, caliber and education. Kudos - to the police officer for the bravery and acting out a splendid duty on the roads halting such rude and bad-mannered guys from burning the rubber on the highways. In realism well-bred, courteous and devoted traffic police officer also did humanitarian and goodhearted task by saving Dusti,s life – who was dying out dud to speedy and hazardous driving. Keep up great things officer – no one is above the law and no one will be allowed to dodge the law of the land. Shaukat Naeem Ghumman Riyadh – Saudi Arabia

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