The car race tragedy in Malik Riaz Hussain’s Bahria Empire

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Five killed as racing car crashes into spectators in Islamabad

* Driver of racing car loses control, crashes into spectators after hitting safety railing

* Police claim race held every week despite not being given permission to do so

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: At least five people, including three of a family, were killed and two others injured as a car crashed into spectators during a race in Islamabad, a private TV channel reported on Sunday.

According to police, a car race competition had been arranged on Sunday to promote motor sports in the country. During the car race, one car lost control and crashed into spectators after hitting the safety railing and smashing into a footpath. The driver, along with four other bystanders, including one child, was killed. Three members of a family, including a father and his son, were also among the unfortunate bystanders. The car was running at a speed of 160 kilometres per hour. Two of the wounded have been shifted to a nearby hospital by rescue teams, where their condition is reported to be stable, the channel said.

Police said the car race was held every week, even though people had not been given any permission to do so. Rawalpindi DCO Imdad Bosal said the administration did not permit the race, adding that after which, the organisers of the race chose the area. Whereas, Islamabad Deputy Commissioner (DC) Aamir Ali said permission for the race was not sought from the Islamabad administration.

On the other hand, Rawat Police Station SHO has admitted that the race site was in the limits of the police station and two sub-inspectors, one ASI and 10 police constables were deployed at the site, the channel reported.

According to details, one Atif Sheikh wrote a letter to the DCO office on December 1 seeking permission for the race. On December 2, the DCO’s office asked the Special Branch to present a report on the matter. A report from the DPO office permitted the race, but the report from the Special Branch disallowed it. On December 4, the Rawalpindi DCO office formally prohibited the race, saying that it could not be allowed. In spite of this, the race was held in the limits of the Rawat Police Station. However, SHO Chaudhry Mehdi claimed that he had a permit letter for the race. Investigations into the incident have begun by the Rawalpindi DCO.

The organisers of the race have said that the spectators were warned several times to stay at a distance from the race track and not to get close to the railing. (Source)

Bahria town racing: Speed thrills but kills five
Umer Nangiana

RAWALPINDI: Five spectators of a drag race were killed when one of the sports cars skidded off the road and ran them over. A woman and a minor child were also injured in the incident, which took place on Sunday in Phase VIII of Bahria town, a posh locality in the outskirts of the twin cities.
Driver of car number 707, Muhammad Majid Khan, who is also the senior manager of a national telecom giant, managed to escape from the scene with a few injuries, said police.

It was not clear if the race was legally organised or not. The Rawat area police denied having given permission to the telecom company to organise the race. The company officials, however, had somehow managed to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Bahria Town management.
“A copy of the NOC was sent to the police station after we had rejected their application seeking permission to hold the race,” said a police official.
Witnesses told the police that the speeding driver had lost control of his car, and was trying to reduce speed by grazing it along the footpath. However, he failed to regain control and after hitting the footpath, the car skidded straight on to crush the spectators.
Four people Daniyal Khan, Babar Khan, Sohail Khan and (son of) Colonel (Retired) Mohsin Khan died on the spot, while Asfand Yar was pronounced dead upon reaching the hospital. A woman Jamana Khan and a minor child Hamza Iqbal suffered injuries and were shifted to the nearby Safari hospital.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Commissioner Rawalpindi, Zahid Saeed said that the race was illegally organised.
“After they were refused permission, the organisers informed us that the race would be held in the jurisdiction of Islamabad and not Rawalpindi but then they did it in the latter,” said Saeed.
Police said cases were registered against the driver of the car, the Bahria Town management, and the chief organiser of the race, Sheikh Atif, who had managed to escape.
Commissioner Saeed said that strict action would be taken against everyone found involved in organising or executing the race. The race was allegedly sponsored by the leading telecom company but no spokesperson was available for comments.
In a drag race, two challengers race down a straight road. Usually, light sports cars fitted with powerful engines are used. Winning the race requires being able to change gears quickly and smoothly at the perfect time (depending on the optimum revolutions per minute (rpm) of the engine). Since the cars normally speed down a straight road, spectators feel safe standing just on the side and watching the events unfold at relative proximity. Drivers are required to keep a close watch on their rpms, turning and manoeuvring skills are not tested. Majid, however, managed to lose control over his vehicle and drove off the track. Because the car was at a high speed, the spectators did not have any time to move out of the way or run for safety.
“The car was completely smashed,” said police. Rawat police were on the look out for Sheikh Atif and Majid Khan. However, no arrests were made till the filing of this report.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2010.

The Bahria Town (Pvt) Limited Malik Riaz Hussain heads the massive project which is currently developing state-of-the-art schemes in Lahore and Rawalpindi/Islamabad. Though Malik Riaz may not be having a very renowned name in business circles, fact has it that the value of his land-holdings both within & outside Pakistan amounts dozens of billions of rupees. Emerging out of the blue, this developer has reportedly developed tremendous connections where it matters in Pakistan-One of the few reasons why his constructed projects get completed in time without hindrance. Whether he has gifted bungalows free of cost of country’s bigwigs or offered them at highly concessional rates, the reality on the ground is that Malik has managed to mesmerize most through his generous wallet. Possessing no convincing financial background, Malik Riaz is known to have been
benefited immensely-courtesy patronage of former Pakistan Navy chief admiral retired Mansoor ul Haq. Others say both Malik and the admiral had stuck a $ 200,000 deal but the man behind the Bahria Town is least moved and irrespective of who is in power; he continues to build house after house-swelling his wealth. And then he is happy being a sponsor for many-welfare parties held under patronage of the ruling elite. (Source)

5 dec 2010, venue (Bahria Town Rawalpindi) racing event turns into a death event for some innocent people who died due to the crash of Toyota supra at 160 kmphr



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