Criminal negligence: Needless death at Bahria Town race track

Published: December 6, 2010

Screen capture of video footage from the Bahria Town crash.

On Sunday, five people died as a speeding car lost control and crashed into a group of spectators. What is extremely unfortunate is the fact that these deaths and injuries were completely avoidable.

As details emerge, attention will focus on young reckless drivers. Our roads proliferate with underage drivers who, due to a combination of parental wealth, a grotesque sense of entitlement and teenage hormones, not only break the law, but are often involved in needless accidents. They drive around locally “suped up” cars, with little or no quality control.

That however is one side of the coin. This tragedy took place on private property (who some would contend was purchased under dubious circumstances) in what is considered by many as one of the success stories of property development in Pakistan. Bahria Town, the ever-expanding  gated community declares that:

Bahria Town aspires to be Pakistan’s greatest builder of all times, with projects offered to an eclectic mix of segments , at choice locations with world class amenities, while ensuring the highest international standards, timely delivery, and lifelong customer satisfaction.

At the race that they organised, where were the world class, international standard barriers, safety procedures and technical expertise?

A news agency reports that:

The organisers of the race have told that the spectators were many times warned, during the race, to keep distance from the race track and not to get closer to the railing but they constantly ignored the warnings and stood so close to the safety fence which caused more damage to their lives (sic)

There are several video clips of the accident making the rounds on social networking sites. They were hardly any “safety fences”, and even assuming that barriers were installed, expecting people not to “get closer to the railing” during a race is naive at best and ludicrous at the worst.

The race took place on a highway, not a racetrack. Why? The videos clearly show sand accumulated on the edges of the road. Who can say that the road was appropriate for such an event?

Who insured that the drivers were appropriately skilled?

Were the cars inspected?

Were they technically sound to take place in such a race?

For such events having a fire truck and an ambulance present is not enough. Neither does an advertising banner constitute a “safety barrier”. The advertising barrier bearing the PTCL logo, who were the official sponsor of the event.

When such tragedies take place in public spaces, we are quick to point fingers at the police or the local government. This tragedy has taken place in a privately managed residential area. Whose head will roll for the negligence shown? Will the organisers blame the drivers or the spectators and get away with it? On the other hand, will an organisation known for extending its influence through patronising the powers to be, get away with what can surely be identified as a case of criminal negligence?

As a nation, we fail our children and young people. May it be in terms of access to education or healthcare, or indeed road safety. To expect the spectators to “know better” is not an excuse!

The organisers of such an event should have taken all the necessary precautions and then some. If Bahria Town can spend billions on developing a “world class” golf course, plush boulevards and commercial areas, it could have also setup adequate barriers at the very least. Or is that too much to ask?

nadir.eledroos

Syed Nadir El Edroos

Nadir teaches Economics at Bellerbys College, London ans is interested in Pakistani politics and current affairs. He tweets @needroos (twitter.com/needroos)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ali

    What a shame! Thousands of poor people die in road accidents but no one spares a thought. I am sure this one will be a different case as a colonel is involved and the dead were of the “elite” class.Recommend

  • Yousaf

    Yes, the track was not secured at all, no safety measures were taken to prevent the sides in case of accident.

    This is purely violation of the law… who has issued the permit or NOC without inspecting the track?

    Very sad incident indeed!Recommend

  • Yousaf

    I just saw the video here(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO80JlRB8E8) and thinking about the families of the victims or those demised, specially the mothers.

    How horrible is this, and I doubt if the justice will be served. Recommend

  • Raqib Ali

    Needless deaths and sadly it will keep on happening. I am waiting for miracles..Recommend

  • Asif Hanafi

    I seriously think your overdoing it in this post. Safety is important but this wasn’t the F1. There are hundreds of races held world-wide with similar or even lesser safety precautions. Your post sounds like a personal vendetta against Bahria Town or perhaps someone you knew was involved in the accident.

    As per your theory on qualified drivers, anywhere in the world, every “wanna” be driver has to pass a test that qualifies them to be safe drivers. There are speed cameras and traffic police but still there are people who drive fast and break the rules and cause massive accidents. Recommend

  • fareh shujeeh

    well i think that corolla is not a racing car at all…..Recommend

  • Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    @Yousaf: No NOC was issued to begin withRecommend

  • Adeel Ahmed

    Apparently the driver was not a teenager, but holds a senior post at PTCL…
    some people never grow up I guess…

    he should be punished.
    But Im sure nothing will come of it.Recommend

  • Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    @Asif: By qualification I refer to be suitably skilled to race, not just have a driving license. The world over, such races have to be insured, and the insurance will not cover just any driver to come up, nor cover any venue that proclaims to be a race track. When you have children present, regardless of the situation any lapse in safety cannot be excused away, just because their is a perception that in other countries similar events take place with a similiar disdain for precautions.

    F1, Nascar or Rally drivers are highly skilled in what they do, yet precautions are taken. Here we have a group of self proclaimed racing drivers and yet hardly any precautions were taken.

    As for Bahria Town, yes I have a grudge against them, as they are failing to deliver on the standards that they themselves are claiming to set. Recommend

  • Ali Hassan

    Very nice post.Recommend

  • Baz

    As a netural to this incident, its a tragic accident.

    @Adeel. Since this is an accident, there was no intention from the driver to cause the deaths. He shouldnt be punished.

    The blame solely lies with the organisers. The barriers failed to stop the car, they seemed pretty feeble anyway. They aspirations seem reasonable, there was enough a crowd present to warrant this event to take place but security which is of utmost importance i guess was lower down the agenda for the day.

    Its an accident and should be treated as such. The loss of life is regretable and the families of those affected should really sue. All thoughts and prays are with the dead and their families. It really is very tragic. Recommend

  • pd

    i dont mean to be insensitive.but im with asif on this.accidents happen.and this was an accident.the rallies mostly dont have much safety railings.if uve seen one ull see spectators standing on the edge of the track. Recommend

  • http://Zeeshan.com Zeeshan

    Sponsored by PTCL. Sponsored should verify about activity. Are they sponsoring legal or illegal activity?
    PTCL is equally responsible for this damages because they provide money for illegal activity that cause death of peoples.

    for verification ptcl ads
    http://www.ptclworkers.com/news/invitation-to-evo-nitro-speed-quest-2010-drag-race-in-bahria-town-phase-viii-rawalpindi-on-5th-dec-2010/Recommend

  • Fuad

    Inna Lilla He Wa Inna Elahi Rajeoon.

    It is unfair to blame either the spectators or the driver. It was an accident waiting to happen.

    For obvious reasons the City Administration refused permission for the event.

    Bahria and PTCL/Etisalat are primarily responsible for failing to provide corporate responsibility for the event. Justice to the bereaved will only be done if the two corporate giants are penalized, however, this is unlikely to happen, 1) PTCL/Etisalat will not be touched by the media because PTCL provides big ads to all the news organizations & Bahria has enough big wigs in its pockets to hush things up!Recommend

  • Kaisar

    Okay, the author of this segment has totally forgotten that he is talking about racing scenario is Pakistan. First, there are no proper racing tracks in Pakistan to begin with referring to his claim that this event should have been on a racing track.

    Secondly, the author research about the guy who was driving, is as naive as he looks in his picture. The driver of this car is grown up man whos married and have kids. Sad though!

    Again, addressing the assurance of skilled drivers who participate in such events in Pakistan is totally out of the question. There is no assurance of skills of any regular drivers on city roads at all in Pakistan to start with.

    Author should point out the authorities where such ‘suped up’ cars are supposed to be tested before asking a question about car’s mechanical integrity. A normal technician in Pakistan doenst even knows the brand and name of these exclusive sports cars in Pakistan.

    Author should consider bursting his bubble by letting the information in about such events that take place all around the world. Even at the most controlled situation at some world class arena with best technicians and drivers with perfect cars, no assurance can be given after the green light or a go signal. World’s best cars with best drivers tumble and flip like any other ordinary car on the road.

    I feel sad for people who died in this particular event like anyone else here. They should have taken a much safer position while enjoying this event which unfortunately ended up as a tragedy for everybody.

    And dear author, you should at least learn to research more when you are about mock certain aspects of certain events rather than just piling up a heap of baseless pointers. Recommend

  • Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    @Kaisar: Since you have admitted that accidents happen even with the best drivers, the best facilities and the best technical expertise, that doesnt mean that adequate precautions shouldnt be taken. Just because fires happen doesnt mean that we should not have fire exits or fire extinguishers in buildings.

    If in Pakistan the mechanics dont know the ifs and buts of these cars, then why are they allowed to be raced in the first place? This all adds up to negligence! Recommend

  • Rohail Malik

    I was there saw it all live…It was a very sad incident….but now comes the Big question “Will justice be served”……and as usual we know the answer. :(Recommend

  • Yellow Eyed Demon

    That’s the reason these type of drag races should be banned if there is no appropriate circuit. Anybody speeding at public roads should be severely punished but this kind of speeding shows we have no concern for others’ life.

    Regarding this incident specifically, who allowed this event to take place without safety measures in place ? Even in WRC with appropriate measures incidents like this happen then how on earth a public road with no high barriers was being used for this kind of racing.Recommend

  • Umer

    I was there saw the whole event including the accident….the organizers are the ones to blame…This year I attend the drag race in Bahria Town and it was properly organized…this time everything was a mess.There were NO safety barricades,children standing on the sides I saw a few 6-7 year olds too :S…..and now Majid Khan(the driver) has also gone missing some say the accident was intentional because he knew he had lost the race…If anyone saw his previous race this is what he did in the finals he blew his car’s engine to avoid defeat.Plus he has been driving the same car for about 5 years and any good driver would know….No one looses control over a car you have been driving for 5 years that easily..So I don’t think the driver is equally responsible for the deaths of those 5 people !Recommend

  • arif

    brain less peoplesRecommend

  • Kaisar

    @Syed Nadir El-Edroos: And how do you think an incident like this one could have been prevented in any case where a car lost its control? You need to search thousands of videos on youtube to get your facts right.
    Top fuel cars that accelerate to 60mph in 1 second from standstill are the fastest machines on wheels. The ratio of an accident while driving such machines is 99:1. Still hundreds of people prepare their machines and enter the drag event.
    Spectators at Bharia Town incident are supposed to be blamed more for this tragedy than the driver or his car.
    Its usually a common cliche in Pakistan to blame the driver first no matter how innocent he was while a bystander just popped in the middle of the road. Im not trying to at cocky or rude here but sure is the case with the mentality of our people to blame the driver first, regardless of what actually happened.

    Car racing in itself is a passion and a hobby all around the world. People will keep on racing cars and the people who would care less as bystanders will have to bear the burnt of a car that is flipped over.

    You have just established that a car that is out of control should prevent itself from hitting someone in its way by itself. Its just people who were supposed to take a safe position in such an event where danger is lingering for the start. Recommend

  • Kaisar

    This car was prepared with the best possible skilled and talented people around in Pakistan. All the parts that were fitted were of international standards and the driver had spend more than a million Pak Rupees to import all those parts from well known suppliers around the world. Nothing you can say was sub standard in terms of service of parts in this very car.

    Now the tragic part.

    Yes it lost control and 5 people had to pay the price. May they all rest in peace and Allah gives their family the peace of mind and heart to bear all that.

    Now, F1 as we know is a billions of dollar sport. The budget of single F1 event is usually bigger than the budget of Pakistan in whole one year. Best minds in the world gather up at one place to compete against one and another. Hundreds of hours are usually spent to make the tiniest improvement to make an F1 car go a milli second faster than the rest.
    I mean the people working in a F1 team as engineers and technicians are at par level with someone actually designing a fighter jet at giving it wings in the end. Thats what state of the art practice they live with on daily basis.

    Still, an F1 cars loses control, gets flipped over, tumbles in the air at 250kph. Even though drivers of F1 cars are the most intelligent minds on earth as well. The are also very much physically tough (by training) to withstand 5 Gs in a road going car and even more. Still an accident happens everything comes back to square one.

    Find me the negligence is all that.Recommend

  • Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    @Kaisar: I have not blamed the driver or the spectators. I am blaming the organizers, as they have a responsibility to both the drivers and the paying public for their safety. Put simply, a plastic banner is no substitute for a proper barrier. In such events, one has to prepare for the worst possible eventuality.

    That was the least that they could do. And second, they were children present, and I just find it inecusable that every precautionary meaasure was not taken. Regardless of how effective it could or could not have been. These measures are taken for the safety of spectators and the driver. Recommend

  • Kaisar

    @Syed Nadir El-Edroos:
    Our roads proliferate with underage drivers who, due to a combination of parental wealth, a grotesque sense of entitlement and teenage hormones, not only break the law, but are often involved in needless accidents. They drive around locally “suped up” cars, with little or no quality control.

    i copied this from your segment. A generalised statement about this very incident was totally a negligence on your part. Like i said earlier, you need to research more about the subjects and the key people who were involved in this accident. Just tagging the whole with hearsays was a irresponsible act on your part. Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    @ nadir, you say you have a particular bias against bahria independant of this tragedy, would u care to elaborate, im curious , is it because your anti capitalism?Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/2534/whose-country-is-this-anyway-not-the-tax-payers/ Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    The bit you are quoting is to highlight the risks that people expose, nay encourage their children too. Rather than high lighting the risks of breaking the law, a certain segment of our society considers it its birth right to drive around aged 14 with little regard for the danger that it entails.I am highlighting the dominant attitude which exposes children and young people to un-necessary risk.

    It has nothing to do with the individual driver involved in this accident. The same attitude was evident in the organization of this event, and the disregard for the safety of the driver and spectators.Recommend

  • Atif

    I am sad and devastated at the state of mind of people who are arguing not to blame the drive, and who believe nothing was wrong on holding these types of races. For these people, just imagine if one of your close relatives dies in such an accident. I just cannot stop thinking of family of the father an son killed in the accident. In one of the posts I saw someone saying it was not “drivers” fault. It might not be if he was driving on a highway with his family, but it is if he came to this place with the “intention” of racing. He, and the organizers shall be tried with third degree murder of 5 innocent people. But in this country, no action is taken on such issues, and that’s why we are where we should be as a nation!Recommend

  • LamentingPakistani

    @Kaisar:
    I find it sad that you’re vehemently just blaming everyone but the driver and organisers.

    Driver – it’s not a racing circuit – shouldn’t have participated in such a poorly organised event.

    Organisers – Mere plastic pickets/duct tapes for barriers!???

    What world are you living in? Of course it was an avoidable tragedy. Hopefully this will be the end of such ill planned illegal races.

    Peace.Recommend

  • Pakistani

    Talk about shooting the messenger. Guys this is most definitely a tragedy but an accident this is not. Just because millions of rupees have been spent on importing parts for these cars does not make them race worthy neither driving nitro cars for a few years entitles someone to be called a race driver. In my opinion just like the author of this article has pointed out and rightly so, all involved including the drivers should be prosecuted and should be made to pay for this criminal act. May Allah ease the suffering of the families who have lost their loved ones.Recommend

  • The daddy

    @fareh shujeeh:
    Your intelligence is so uplifting that it makes me want to admire you but the thing is its not a corolla.Recommend

  • Abdulrehman

    To those who think the driver is at fault,please tell me if the car spinning out is his fault.The supra he was driving is know worldwide to be a top pick for those looking to do some drag racing.It has a chasis and engine combo right for the job and as such the car spinning out is purely bad luck.Heck,even F1 cars lose traction and spin out while they’re supposedly fool proof.And if you guys like the author think that the barrier wasn’t enough then you should research a bit on rally races around the world which have the same type of barriers and any spectator looking to play a game of life and death Is most welcome to come and stand very close to the cars.Fact is,you can’t help it when people don’t value their lives themselves.Recommend

  • Ms.Shehzad

    I totally agree with the writer on each and every point, yes may be the driver did,nt intend to kill, but all you who have,nt lost anyone,should know that really precious lives have been lost and one of them was my own colleague and dear dear friend who was not yet 40.alongwith his son, who was only 11. I wish Mr.Kaiser who seems to be a personal friend of Mr.Atif (main organizer)and Mr.majid (Driver), had God forbid lost somebody in such a mindless silly thrilling venture withoiut all safety precautions taken, then he would,nt have been telling us about all the world standards of F1 which obviously had,nt been applied here. admit it that everything here is done in an half-baked manner, thats why last year young kids died in an collapsed jumping castle incident in a park near rawal dam.
    So please spare your words of non-sympathy and don’t indulge in sports you are not prepared for cos whatever you say five precious lives were snuffed out in an instance with several homes and lives destroyed which were connected to them. I cannot describe what my friend’s wife is going through since her daughter is still recovering in the hospital and my friend last night was running between the bodies of her dear son , her critical daughter and her just expired dead husband’s body…….S before you judge where they were standing judge where the very smart Bahria town police could have stood or acted cause I have seen them at Mr.Riaz’s kids weddings how efficient they can be, its just that the coomon people’s lives are probably not that precious….God help th driver . and organizers and how they will sleep after having gotton killed five people…..Recommend

  • Uzair Javaid

    @ Kaisar: I differ with you on this brother. Our roads dont proliferate under-age driving. Its the Police and law that are ignored. Aiding wealth into the scenario, it simply provides the youth with the desire to own a fancy new car with surplus money to modify it to get glares upon.

    having a fancy fast car wouldn’t do any bad, but with a system in place like ours. There’s nothing stoping the youths from crossing limits. A traffic authority officer would let go anyone for hardly 100-500rupees based on your luck and his mood.

    We need LAW, LAW and LAWWWW. Such events are not bad as it would encourage people with such interests to wait and join such an event. It would atleast save the ones on the roads with driver’s negligence or mal-control.Recommend

  • Syed

    @Umer:

    The car in question, was a toyota Supra, modified to be one of the fastest cars in Pakistan, to the people who say that the car was losing, look at the video, he was winning by 4-5 car lengths when his car lost traction (sand on road?) so evidently, he didn’t intentionally crash.Recommend

  • Syed

    Additionally, I would like to ask, does one think that it’s the peoples right to stand 10 feet away from a car going 180Km/h and expect the car to move out of the way ?
    if any ones fault, it’s the fault of the organizers. Pakistan isn’t ready for such an event with such a mentality. If anyone thinks a car can’t swerve or spin out at 180 km/h, they’ve got another thing coming.
    the loss of life is a truly regrettable incident, but death does not clear one of the blame, they were a mere 8 feet away from the car, in FRONT of the ditch where the car stopped. If you need more proof of this being the fault of the people with such a mentality, see this and then tell me, how many people were with the injured compared to those looking at the car and making videos.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO80JlRB8E8Recommend

  • saint.

    I think everyone should learn a lesson from this, the organisers, the spectators and the participants too.
    All of us have been saying this for ages that this should be recognised as sport and such events should be organised under proper management so that the talent could really be recognised to the wider audiences rather than them lot just pulling out their stunts on public roads and risk lives of themselves and the public.
    Huge loss but again lessons should be learned from this horrible accident so that necessary measures should be taken in future.
    May Allah rest their souls in peace and give their families and loved ones sab’r to endure their huge loss.. AmeenRecommend

  • Maria

    @Kaisar: I understand that accidents happen- even in developed nations with supposedly much stricter standards and more resources available. I recall that there was a horrific accident at a race in Southern California where an amateur racer ploughed into the crowd killing just as many. The spectators were too close to the dirt race track. The California government is trying to strengthen requirements on similar events since this year’s accident. Hopefully the Pakistani authorities will have the insight to regulate such events more closely but no fall prey to the misconception that banning such events will stop accidents at sporting events. Unfortunately some sports are inherently dangerous despite all the precautions one takes. If it can happen in Europe and the United States why should we be surprised that a similar tragedy can take place in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    @Ali: what a cold hearted jerk you are. It were the ordinary people who were killed by an event organized by the elite class. Recommend

  • http://allpicxs.blogspot.com Tipu

    This is the fruit of lavish life for some and sudden death for much .Recommend

  • http://HTML khan

    It’s a shameful moment for us where the people lost their lives. The organisers of such events should adopt international way of organising a race. The organiser is responsible for the whole incident but the driver is also responsible for it.Recommend

  • Omar

    Its a great event, too bad some stupid people died due to negligence of other stupid people who organised the race. This is like stupidity squared, what else do you expect out of this??? Its like waiting for it to happen, and now it has happened. start the flaming!!! I mean… stand in front of a charging bull with your kids and expect it not to hit u….. Hello!!!! Organizers are responsible, but the people themselves are also responsible. But like always, the masses are a bunch of cows who cant think or reason to their own safety.

    You cant blame who was driving, inexperience, bad roads or track, safety rails etc. Rally tracks are not full of safety rails and barriers. Hell, this is not even a track. Its just a small piece of tarmac. But then if this sport has to develop in our country this is how the beginning will be like. This is a dangerous sport world over and is in a very preliminary stage in our country. Maybe someday we will have dedicated race tracks in our country, where every tom dick n harry is a race car driver, driving an underpowered hatch or a sedan…… thank God. Please dont blame the sport.

    But in todays day and age, for an accident like this to happen is absolutely shameful and disgusting on part of the organizers and the by-standers who could have done a lot more without spending a penny and just ensured safety. Effect of brain drain???Recommend

  • Ahmad Bilal Siddiqi

    At this event, I was really shocked to hear upon the sad demice of a very good old friend of mine Babar Ali, and his son. There are two things that are very important for the Safty of race… The Spectators should bee seeted atleast 10 meters away from the track…. and there should a proper racing track with a properly installed safty fence, not a printed banner nor a coloney highway. For such kind of events that are properly designed for strong road grips. I think so PTCL who is well reputed name who has sponsored this event are not children they should know health and safty for both Spectators and drivers of the event… My regrets to the management and the organizers of this event. Shame on them. Recommend

  • Pheycel Ecber

    It has a real loss to the lovers of the game. its an unfortunate event. The lives are most important and the only thing matters at the end of the day are the causalities. There are multiple laps and errors at the organizers end, most of them had been expressively discussed by fellow Pakistanis.

    I think banning such events will not bring any good to the society as it will make the mos crazy dudes to do it more illegal. proper tracks, guidance, technically experts and other relevant issues should be highlighted. Such races had been in every country and every state, legally or ill-legally. they are there. Michal Shomaker died in a legal race, the point is he died alone, which we have to make sure. We do pray for the safety of driver himself too but also the audience and no blame to the organizers.

    One thing i want to add is try drive out Murree Road any time in the day and check the bikers especially they way they fly in air in heavy traffic.

    Allah Almighty bless us all and save be heavened are souls of the died ones. AmeenRecommend

  • Mansoor

    Salam

    May the souls rest in peace. Ameen
    Stop BLAMING each other.
    What on earth the term NEEDLESS death means??????/
    Accidents happen all over the world and lessons have to be learnt to avoid them in future.
    Bahria town provided the space and opportunity for the event which no other authority or society have provided before in Pakistan.
    Start taking thinks positively instead of jumping to conclusions!!
    If you want to talk about innocent people dying then lets start a conversation on hundreds of INNOCENT muslims died by drone attacks . You don’t like talking about them because media and your slave government doesn’t want to talk about it.

    Thanks
    Recommend

  • Abdulrehman

    When death calls,it calls,and theres no hiding.Its just a shame that 5 or 6 innocent people died at an event which had cars racing in it.Imagine if the people were standing on the other side of the ditch,they couldve all been saved,but unfortunate as it is,they werent,and the car spun out and hit them.May Allah bless all of the deceased but please dont go around bashing the driver you know he couldve died too.Again,may Allah bless us all,AmeenRecommend

  • dansih

    @Zeeshan:
    even if PTCL hvnt sponsored it , they wud had still organized the same event ..
    I think you hav found out about this event the first time, its been happening for the past 5 6 months.. PTCL sponsored it ffor the very first timeRecommend

  • Kaisar

    I read almost every other person’s post here pointing my stance out of not blaming the driver at all.
    This accident could have had happened on an empty road with almost none spectators around. Again, when you blame the driver for having a sports car in Pakistan which is a stupid argument. You guys are just overlooking the facts again which i have mentioned earlier. The owner of this car wasnt a teenager nor he had bought this car from his wealthy father’s fortune. He is sadly enough, a father himself and has bought this car from his own earnings.

    I wonder if some people here would still stereotype this incident just to justify an argument for reasoning sake. I dont know, but some people who claim that it was driver’s fault might have superhuman capabilities in them to prevent an accident while they are on road behind their wheels. All those people who want to remain blindfolded and stick the blame to the driver must have never acknowledged the stigma attached to the car racing. You guys should check out the videos on youtube with keywords ‘worst car racing accidents’. Im sure most of those accidents happened outside Pakistan with best available safety features in all aspects.

    One person here claimed that spending millions on upgrading a car doesnt guarantees its integrity. Sir, you surely dont know a thing about how upgrading works and what objectives are supposed to be achieved after having them. Its a completely different debate because you cant determine the consequences when a car is flying towards you at 160kph with all safety measures considered would only hurt you or kill you. Of course, it will kill you. Its YOU who should have considered your safety measures in advance to stay out of the way of a 2 ton flying object coming at you at blistering speed.

    I dont know why people here have forgotten the dangers attached to this genre of sports in the first place? You CANT make a machine perfect nonetheless humans would continue to improve them and sometimes have to face their failures.

    And just to correct shehzad – No sir/maam, im not a friend of any of those people you have mentioned in your post, Driver/Organiser. Just knowing the facts about someone doesnt makes you one’s friend or buddy. Or may be you claim to be a close friend of President Bush cause you have read or heard a lot about him??

    Again:
    1. The driver isnt a teenager. He is a married guy with kids
    2. His car like his other achievements werent sourced by his wealthy father at all
    3. Any car could have slipped on any given road at any time just like it did in this incident.
    4. Bystanders are there to blame for standing close to the road.
    5. Its sad that 5 people lost their lives.
    6. Accidents happen in events like this all over the world and thousands of people have lost their life in such scenarios.
    7. Banning such events wouldnt do much since we Pakistanis are experts in finding alternative way to fulfil our desires. Govt should step in this time, and provide the enthusiasts with proper tracks with safety measures considered.
    8. By providing the proper tracks Govt can at least prevent people taking their adrenaline rush on public roads. Recommend

  • Kaisar

    People here blaming this particular sport have never even played badminton in their own life.
    Cars in particular are machines like any other machine where things can go wrong without warning. Even Space shuttles with billions of dollars backing them up have blown up right after their take off.

    Just blaming a sad incident like this with a cup of tea behind your computer doesnt makes you eligible to pass judgements. As a human though God has blessed us with conscious to take the preliminary steps to stay out of harm’s way. Having said that, the driver of this car had also installed the ‘roll cage’ in case the car is flipped over. The bystanders were people with eyes and mind who must have witnessed that there are no safety rails beside this road and since theres a machine driven quite fast, we must step back further if anything unimaginable happens.

    The rule of thumb is to at least move your head right and left with open eyes and working mind, before stepping a zebra crossing even on an empty road. This rule still is in practice in most developed countries and does establish a self awareness concept of your safety first.

    do i need to say more?Recommend

  • Salman

    Very Sad. Recommend

  • Abid

    I don’t believe how ignorant our nation is specially how irresponsible writer of this article is. Indeed this is a sad incident and may Allah forgive victims and give strength to the family members.

    Go to youtube and search for drift car accidents in US. You will find 100 of legal event accidents in which car gets out of control and hits the crowd. Does it make it okay? NO of course not but I am trying to say its part of the game. Its like rodeo where bull gets out of control and goes to bystanders.

    If event wasn’t secured why people go and attend such event???? Responsibility lies on both sides. I wonder when our people will become responsible start taking responsibility. Shame on you writer…Allah has given you a power…and you are misusing it. Just don’t tell that track was insecure but also tell that people witnessed track was insecure still refused to leave. They supported the event by staying there. Also event organizers warned many times…Shame on you Shame on youRecommend

  • ahed

    the car driver shouldnt have raced with a 800 horsepower powerful car and swinging spectators.Recommend

  • http://www.fattaurus.com Ahmed Ilyas

    Another case of rich and famous.. and their lunacy Recommend

  • http://theboulevards.posterous.com Saad Durrani

    Fine. I have not read this post cause it bores me a lot but Nadir has a point. This was avoidable. This was a drag race, not a rally. People could’ve been given elevated platforms to watch.Recommend

  • Imran

    Dear all,

    Think of this. Suhail Khan is my best friend and we have shared the ups and downs for over a decade. He had thoughts of a good future and was working hard, how hard(?), well ask me and it was 18 to 20 hours a day.

    His son, Dannyal, 11 years, was an extraordinary genius who made not only his parents, but all of us proud of simply the way he was. I remember him saying once, “Imran Bhai, just see the look of my Dad when I come back with another A today”. And, he did come back with one. He did that everytime there was a test or quiz in School. His teachers and class fellows are a witness to that.

    Dannyal was also fond of cars and racing at this age and he went there to enjoy the race, not to lose his life. Suhail was working in the field of Safety & Security and his primary attention was for his Son and a Daughter who is equally genius like her brother. I went with their bodies to Multan, their ancestral town and attanded the funeral.

    I am not blaming anyone, but to mention the following:

    Suhail, as I know him for over 13 years, was very cautious and always stayed away from places where there could be a minimum threat to his family members. I am a witness to that. The comments I read above saying he should have been careful, seem to be written by friends who may or may not have been there and a witness to the tragedy.

    But, the safety arrangements along the track, claimed to comply with International standards makes me skeptical. The safety walls should have been stronger with old tires to absorb the impact of collision, which was not the case. .

    Not only that, but there are news circulating all over that the permission to hold such an event was not granted. A negative on grant of NOC clearly means there is NO PERMISSION to hold the event.

    Understanding fully well that what happened is a big tragedy. And, a part of my strong faith says you cannot change the fate. But, my question remains: Why was the event held in the first place without proper permission? Any friends who would elaborate on that instead of playing the blame game, may please come up with some GOOD answers?

    The family of Suhail Khan is no more what it used to be. A little daughter, very much loved by her father will live without him and her brother who was also her mentor. His wife will be reminded on a daily basis of the tragedy that changed her life.

    We, his friends, wanted his family to bloom and prosper. He was a British Pakistani but worked in Pakistan for our Country’s sake. We lost a Pakistani and his son. Any thoughts on this please?

    What I have written is with a very heavy heart. I mean No Offense. But, I am crying while writing these words and am clueless on why I lost my dearest friends if the safety arrangements were adequate? Tell the spectators a 1000 times to stay far from the event, they will try to watch as closely as they can. But, this could have been avoided.

    …An illegal drag race, sponsored by the Country’s well-known Housing Sceme and the Largest telecommunications company… WHY? Do you think an illegal event can shed it’s responsibility on loss of life just by getting some papers signed saying the signatory will not make any claim in any court, to get custody of bodies of the loved ones? How can you justify that didn’t fulfill the requirements in the first place, and then did not ensure the safety of participant and spectators?

    Regards,

    ImranRecommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/2534/whose-country-is-this-anyway-not-the-tax-payers/ Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    @Imran: I found out today that my wife is distantly related to some of the victims, and they are also related to common friends. Their demise and their family loss is unfortunate and pointless. As terrorism and natural disasters have played havoc with families across our country, I am saddened by many of the comments here, and from some of the emails that I have received that argue that “accidents happen”.

    Of course accidents happen and will continue to happen.

    When terrorism strikes we all argue that the government and police should have taken appropriate measures to secure certain locations, shrines, mosques, police stations etc.

    When the floods were heading towards Sindh, everyone clamoured at the states failure to take preventative measures even though they knew the potential for damage.

    In this post, I and many others have simply argued, that the potential for an accident should have been enough to induce precautionary measures. Whether such measures would have been sufficient or not is inconsequential, because they were not provided to begin with.

    Now two days have passed since the event, and I may be wrong but neither Bahria Town or PTCL have offered a public apology or shown any concern (I do hope I am wrong).

    One would expect the government or the police to fail, but when you one organization, one of the largest property developers in the country and the second, the nations largest telecommunications company fail to take safety concerns into account, that is very telling. Either they are incompetent, negligent or failed to foresee the danger. In either case the very least they could do is to accept responsibility and apologize for lapses on their part.

    P.S. To the individual who emailed me saying that “Bahria Town is a national asset and a wonder of property development the world over, and I am defaming an organization of international repute” – I dont know whether to get angry or to feel sorry for youRecommend

  • Th. Mavris

    @Kaiser (and whoever thinks in this way):

    “The driver isnt a teenager. He is a married guy with kids”
    Therefore he should have thought out the consequences before participating. Sometimes you have to think with upper head and not the lower one. Because you are adult.
    Speeding on an empty road up in the mountains is still violation. There is just noone to see you.

    “His car like his other achievements werent sourced by his wealthy father at all”
    So what? If I rape, I am a rapist. If I steal, I am a thief. If I own a company, I am a company owner. If I kill someone, I am a murderer.
    This happens either you are poor or rich. Either you made your fortune or found it ready.
    Of course there are different levels (aka intention, neglect). A murder is always a murder.

    “Any car could have slipped on any given road at any time just like it did in this incident.”
    You always have the right to say: “I do not participate. There will be attendants and might get hurt”. You don’t participate? Then organisers might get the message to change things in your country. You participate? Then you participate and accept the situation. Hence you are can be held responsible.

    If you participate in an illegal event/activity, how are you called?

    “Bystanders are there to blame for standing close to the road.”
    In the same fashion civilians in place where there is ongoing warfare are those to be blamed because they still live there. The girl that got raped is to be blamed because she was pretty. The bank is to be blamed because there is money there. The people that live next to the river are to be blamed, when the river floods.
    People are people. The responsibility of an organiser is to protect the attendants. Imagine a hospital not providing gloves to the doctors, when taking blood samples from HIV positive patients.
    It is your right to want such races in Pakistan. At the same time you should ask for safety before you all can enjoy such races.
    (I am an avid F1 fun and go to many races every year)

    “Its sad that 5 people lost their lives.”
    When devoting so many lines to your other arguments, allowing for 8 words (including a number) it is hypocrisy. You could as well say nothing.

    “Accidents happen in events like this all over the world and thousands of people have lost their life in such scenarios.”
    You go tell that to the families of the dead. Tell that to their face, if you have the balls.
    Tell that to your relatives, friends if something like that happens.
    Be ready to accept such excuse, if something like this happens to you (I am not wishing anything like that).
    It is human pain. Loss in a period of peace. Loss during entertainment. It is always tragic and inexcusable.

    “Banning such events wouldnt do much since we Pakistanis are experts in finding alternative way to fulfil our desires. Govt should step in this time, and provide the enthusiasts with proper tracks with safety measures considered.”
    Government should step in this time and help justice to be served. For the rest, there is time.

    In the same fashion criminals should not be sent to jail, because there are always more criminals to come. You either have low education or you skipped classes at school.

    “By providing the proper tracks Govt can at least prevent people taking their adrenaline rush on public roads.”
    To me it is the only reasonable proposition after so many posts.Recommend

  • Th. Mavris

    Continue….

    @Kaiser (and whoever thinks in this way):

    The problem is not if you are right or wrong. The problem is not if there should be races or not.

    Everyone is right and wrong. Most of the times such judgement is subjective. It needs interpretation and that is why there are courts of Law for other types of “wrong”.

    Sport is good. Whatever keeps people out of drugs, unhealthy habits, criminal activities, killing each other is good. It is not good when it is done without safety.

    If you wrote and expressed your opinion 10 months later maybe your words would be read in a different way. There is the rational of a fan, of a person that wants his country to be modernized.

    Problem is that you wrote such things after that freak accidents. That is why you are not right. It is a moment of compassion and not rationalisation. If you cannot be compassionate then wait for the right moment to write whatever you want.

    It is not the NASCAR, F1, WRC etc that is being judged. It is the system and ways that things are done in your country. The race is the tip of the iceberg and you stayed just there. See the forest and not the tree..

    Races without permission at the capital of Pakistan, inside the property of the biggest developer with sponsoring without safety measures. Still justice to be served (since noone commited suicide).Recommend

  • http://www.michigan-drunk-driving.com/ Michigan DUI attorney

    Very sad!Recommend

  • All are fools

    The following appear in papers today (Dawn). This guy is a land grabber, who just now sponsored haj of interior ministry people. You people are fool if you think that you will get any justise!

    Setting aside the official and security protocol, President Asif Ali Zardari paid a visit to the house of property tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain on Monday night.
    According to police sources, the president arrived at the house in Sector G-6/3 at around midnight with a fleet of private vehicles. He was escorted by workers of the Pakistan People’s Party.

    The unscheduled visit caused confusion among security and law-enforcement agencies and different wings of Islamabad police stated communicating with each other to ensure security of the president’s private convoy.

    Later, a contingent of police commandos was deployed in the street for security of the president who remained there for about an hour before returning to the presidency.

    The purpose of the visit could not be ascertained.

    Malik Riaz is considered to be a person wielding a lot of influence in the corridors of power.

    President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar expressed ignorance about the visit.Recommend

  • N

    build proper racetracks to satisfy these thrills of some spoilt children cuz these children ain’t gonna stop from these activities ever.Recommend

  • Sabeer

    @Nadir: I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote up there – but the sad fact is, even after this incidence we will NOT learn a thing or two. Things will remain as they are..

    @Imran: I’m sorry for your loss. As Nadir says, this was an avoidable accident which should NOT have happened.

    @Kaisar: After skimming through your comments here I, for one, am surprised at the lack of sensitivity some people have. First, you point fingers at the writer and blame him for not researching properly. Calling him naive based on the picture or a write-up.. well what do you have to say about YOURSELF, my friend? You’re bordering on the thin line of naivety and stupidity judging people left, right, and center like that. Feels bad? That’s how it feels when you taste a dose of your own medicine.

    According to you, it was everybody’s fault BUT the driver’s. You’re as close to even blaming the birds flying above.. it was THEIR fault they were flying above where the accident happened and got the dust into their eyes. Damn! They should’ve known better…

    So apparently.. your Mr. Driver (who has disappeared off the face of this Earth, by the way. Disappeared after carelessly causing DEATHS), is a married man with kids. He’s working 20 hours a day to maintain the Supra.. only if he’d spent a little more time with his OWN family, maybe he’d have realized the value of love and closeness. So he’s married and has a family of his own – that makes him a responsible citizen? No sir! That makes him even more stupid. Risking his life while he has mouths to feed and a future to build, and that too, without adequate safety measures.

    Agreed.. sipping tea sitting behind our computers don’t make us eligible to pass a judgement. But aren’t you doing the same? Or do rules change when it comes to you?

    I hate to say this; but I’d like to see how you’d have reacted if one of your own had died in the accident. Would you have given a pat on the driver’s back and blamed the organizers then too? Afterall.. it is a hobby, isn’t it?

    I hope sanity prevails!Recommend

  • Sabeer

    … blamed the organizers and your beloved for standing close to the track**Recommend

  • http://www.pakspectator.com Sana Saleem

    Pakistani are doing all that is enough to let us down in the world !Recommend

  • Umair Ali

    @Abid:

    Its is very apparent from your post that what you wrote was rush of blood. Every person have right to speak and thats what ppl are doing. By saying shame on you writers , you are penetrating their rights.

    I 100% agree with Kaiser that driver is not ONLY person to be blamed. When you make a critical analysis of the situation you will find out people were CRAZY , they were so carried away by excitement, they didnt care about their own safety. I ask you a simple question .. will you stand by a car which is running @ speed of 180 km/hr … prudent answer will be NO NEVER …

    I have real sorrow for the deadones because for someone all those people were important by one mean or other but guys you know whats the worst part is , in future these races will take place , people will still die and again we all will give hipe to the matter than what …NOTHING

    In our common life we dont follow rules ( All of us including myself) and this is resultant of such a behaviour

    Lastly , organisor havent spent money on people safety , agree … but you will find this thing everywhere in pakistan … investors invest money where they find benefit and they always keep cost low Alas! super approvers of this event should have act in bona fide way which they didnt. Recommend

  • Umair Ali

    @Th. Mavris:

    Well dude I believe your opinion is solely resultant of the accident , your comments would have been totally different if asked before th start of event …
    Infact all of us talking here are part of after affects of the event

    First of all I didnt know about this event since I am not pak so not 100 in touch with everything …. BUT I WOULD HAVE KNEW THAT SUCH AN EVENT IS GOING TO TAKE PLACE I WOULD HAVE VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE EVENT ….but since I have seen aftermath of this event , my opinion is altogether different.

    AS IF YOU TELL TRUTH FROM YOUR HEART , YOU WILL HAVE THE SAME FEELINGRecommend

  • Umair

    Yeah I agree With With U Bro,Kaisar.. Racing always has these risks with it. People should keep these things in mind before going to such events…
    They are talking about “Driver being appropriately skilled”. Are there any standards or permits or tests, in Pakistan for a person to become a qualified race driver?? No..Recommend

  • Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    Great work!!

    Meanwhile, a large number of people, including friends of the victims, kept on visiting the scene of the fatal car crash and laid wreaths at the site.

    However, some of the visitors were pushed back and forced to leave the site by private security guards.

    Despite repeated attempts, Bahria Town administration could not be contacted for comments.

    http://www.dawn.com/2010/12/09/car-race-tragedy-police-want-driver-s-name-on-ecl.htmlRecommend

  • Zoya Khan

    **Mr. Kaisar, I am sorry but I don’t agree with you..
    I am neither taking sides and nor adopting an anti-driver stance but the thing is that the driver should at least have the courage

    to show up,
    take responsibility of his action
    and face the consequences.**
    Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/2534/whose-country-is-this-anyway-not-the-tax-payers/ Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    Some people are just above the law and can get away with anything:

    Police say sorry to tycoon for raid
    From the Newspaper
    (2 hours ago) Today
    By Our Staff Reporter
    ISLAMABAD, Dec 9: The Islamabad police have apologised to construction tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain for a raid on his residence by Rawalpindi police to arrest his son in connection with an accident during a car race that left five spectators dead, informed sources told on Thursday.

    Ali Riaz is one of the accused nominated in the FIR registered by Rawat Police Station after a car ploughed into a crowd of spectators in Bahria Town`s Phase VIII on Sunday.

    Sources said that earlier this week, two senior police officers of Islamabad police visited the residence of Malik Riaz Hussain located in G-6/3, street 89, and tendered the apology for the raid conducted by Rawalpindi police with officials of Kohsar police.

    The two senior police officers also gave an assurance to the tycoon that such an act would never take place in future in Islamabad police jurisdiction.

    After the apology, a contingent of 20 commandos of Islamabad police was deployed around Malik Riaz`s residence and the street to deal strictly with officials of the Pindi police on their arrival with the intention of any raid.

    The Islamabad police commandoes, the sources said, had been ordered to arrest Pindi police officials if they came to the house of Malik Riaz Hussain and take them to police station concerned for legal action.Recommend

  • Omar

    @Kaisar: My dear Kaisar…. :D thank you for elaborating and highlighting the exact problem. I think most of the people here dont even read what others posted and just have spare cents to throw around.

    ppl just wanna blame game this and wanna see their posts posted…. even if its all bull….

    Thank you for such a clear statement of the problem and the solutions. Hope one day motor sport in PK goes to an international level. But where ppl here have no idea of the basic of driving regulations or for that even pedestrians know what rules are… it will take time and we will have many similar stories in the future.Recommend

  • ahmad

    @Ali: its people like u who have created the divide amongst people yes he was a col of army but he was their with his family as a normal citizen. so grow up and stop making such lame comments ! RIP all the victimsRecommend

  • Faraz

    @Baz:
    I agree to the fact that the driver had no intention to hit the spectators. but that doesn’t entitle him to be left unpunished. what happened was an accident. he should be fairly tried and punished.Recommend

  • Faraz

    @Th. Marvis & Sabeer:
    I totally agree with everything you said, but over that, I also doubt that justice might be served to the ones who suffered. Recommend

  • Faraz

    @Kaisar and to all the ‘wannabe racers’ in Pakistan:

    keep one thing in mind, the roads of Pakistan are NOT AT ALL suited for racing. No matter what the contractors say, the roads they build are NOT WORLD CLASS AT ALL!!!

    I don’t care if you’re racing with a Supra, a Skyline, or even a Lexus LFA… the roads are so bad, that the tires will never grip the road (the way they do at really good roads) at high speed. I know it because not only I, but most of us have seen even worse accidents on better roads with much better drivers. I blame the organizers for not ensuring safety for the drivers & spectators, the driver for being careless and his cowardice for not showing up and claiming responsibility for his action…

    and last but not least, I beg all the Pakistani wannabe racers out there that street racing is not a sport for us at the moment. we are still very far from it. we need to take care of several BASIC issues before we can all enjoy a luxurious sporting event like this.Recommend

  • All you stupids

    http://www.dawn.com/2010/12/14/pindi-car-racing-tragedy-sc-wants-top-cop-to-investigate.html

    However sources told Dawn that two accused – Ali Riaz, son of property tycoon Malik Riaz, and Walid Khan, marketing manager of Bahria Town – have left the country in the wee hours of Sunday.

    Sources said they were taken to the Banazir Bhutto International Airport in a tinted glass vehicle of a senior officer of the capital police as they boarded an international flight around 4:30am. A contingent of the capital police`s commandos escorted the vehicle in which the senior police officer and the two accused were travelling.Recommend

  • Mohammed

    People i would like to share a secret with all you out there most of you would know already
    but let me say it again. THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME DRIVERHAD A ACCEDIENT HE HAD A VERY SIMILAR ACCIDENT ON F5 ROAD WHILE RACEING WITH A MITSIBUSHI FTO. HIS CAR SLIPPED OFF EXACTLY THE SAME WAY AND NEARLY KILLED HIM SELF. THE FUNNY PART IS A RACER WANNA BE LIKE HIM WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND THAT USEING SLICK TIRES ON A DUSTY ROAD IS AS GOOD AS DOING ICE SKATTING. CAR WILL SLIP FOR SURE. so my point is show off turns to showdown by killing inoccent ppl the people were quite a distance away but if on that speed a car slips off and heads towards you ur reactions is useless unless if u can fly u can get away. THATS WHY THESE RACES ARE CALLED QUATER MILE RACES. TO PROVE HOW FAST UR CAR IS CROSSING EACH METER. if ppl are standing 4 meters away or 5max the car is doing 20 meters per second. i hope u ppl get some what of what im trying to explain. IF I WERE THE DRIVER I WOULD HAVE NEVER RACED ON THE FIRST PLACE COZ I CAN SEE PEOPLE CLOSE TO THE TRACK. but no….
    so organizers and Mr. Driver GUILTY AS CHARED best of luck with ur FiR’s, Suo Moto’s.
    ATLEAST GO AN PAY BOOLD MONEY FOR THOSE WHO PAST AWAY.

    What goes around comes around. and when it comes then there is no1 to helpRecommend

  • shabbir

    Its money, whose way of spending either makes the people devil or an angle. It is show of wealth which comes in easy way.

    Alas they know their identification that they are Muslim and act like Muslim.Recommend