On 10 January 2012, an Atif Aslam musical concert at the Al Hamra Arts Council, Lahore (organized by Mian Amer Mehnood’s Punjab Group of Colleges) turned into a tragedy when three girls got killed while five were critically injured in a stampede.
It is possible to identify three parties responsible for the tragic death of the innocent girls:
(1) Mian Amer Mehmood, CEO of Punjab Group of Colleges. The Punjab Group administration is notorious for collecting large sums of money from students converting academic institutions into ruthlessly commercial businesses. They sold more than 8000 tickets for the Atif Aslam concert whereas there were only 4000 places in the venue (Al-Hamra Cultural Complex);
(2) Atif Aslam and other members of his band; they contributed to the tragic death by: (a) agreeing to perform in an overcrowded hall; they were paid Rs500,000 in addition to the concert fee to keep their mouth shut, (b) enabling a stampede by providing autographs to girls in an already overcrowded hall, and (c) lack of public safety considerations in their extremely expensive concerts; and
(3) Ata-ul-Haq Qasmi, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Lahore Arts Council including the Al-Hamra Cultural Complex.
All of the aforementioned parties had clear commercial stakes in the concert in question; their greed and mismanagement resulted into death of three innocent girls.
This is not a case of homicide, this is a case of cold-blooded murder; the police must arrest Mian Amir Mahmood, Atif Aslam and Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi and start criminal proceedings rejecting all forms of political or media pressure.
According to news reports, the Atif Aslam concert was held on 10 Jan 2012 at Lahore’s Al Hamra Cultural Complex. When the girls tried to exit the venue after the event, there was a stampede resulting in three young girls stumbling and getting crushed. According to reports, the deceased girls were students aged between 17-22. They were Maheen Naseem, 17, Sara Nawaz, 22 and Nimra, 16. There were reportedly between 6000 and 7000 girls at the concert, much beyond the venue’s capacity.
Here is a video report of how a family mourns the loss of their loved one!
Talking to The Express Tribune, Maheen’s father Naseem Abbas blamed the organiser, Punjab Group of Colleges’ administration for mismanagement. “Why they allowed more students in the complex when there was not enough space,” he asked. An eyewitness Bismah said that a lack of security contributed to the tragic incident. She added that the stampede started when a larger door was opened to let attendees out. Extra people at the venue had caused a rush when the concert ended. (Source)
It is, however, a fact all of the three accused parties are highly influential.
1. Mian Amer is the owner and CEO of Dunya News TV Network (employing people such as Mubashir Lucman, Nasim Zehra, Meher Bokhari, Rauf Klasra etc), owner and chairman of the Punjab Group of Colleges (University of Central Punjab) and a former nazim (administrator) of Lahore City District Government. He started his political life as an activist of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing (Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba) at the Punjab University and was known as a tiny-terror at the PU because of his habit of brandishing firearms in the university premises along with other IJT militants. After having done his MBA from the Punjab University, he launched the Punjab Group of Colleges in 1985 that culminated into the University of Central Punjab. He joined the PML-Q (a pro0army political party) and was considered very close to the military dictator General Musharraf and the Punjab CM Pervez Elahi. Currently he is known to be about to join the new pro-army party, i.e., Imran Khan’s PTI.
2. Atif Aslam, a mediocre singer by all standards, who has been able to hoarde much more wealth and fame than probably what he deserved, thanks to increasing Western-copycatism and declining indigenous culture in Pakistan. He is rumoured to have bribed the Punjab Police to remove his name from the FIR.
3. Ata-ul-Haq Qasmi is a paid propagandist of the PML-N. He was elevated to the position of Ambassador of Pakistan in Norway and Thailand during Nawaz Sharif’s reign from 1997 to 1999. Currently he is a chairman of the Lahore Arts Council (including Al Hamra).
On 7 February 2012, the police finally registered a murder case against Mian Ahmer Mehmood. We welcome this step, justice must be visibly and transparently served in this case. A similar FIR should be filed against other two culprits, Atif Aslam and Ata-ul-Haq Qasmi.
All three of the accused, Mian Amer, Atif Aslam and Qasmi must be arrested and awarded exemplary punishments so that such tragedies do not recur in the future.
Copy of the murder case FIR (police report) against Mian Aamir
Gulberg Police registered a case of murder against Mian Amer Mehmood, the chief executive of Dunya News and chairman of the Punjab Group of Colleges, and 63 other officials of the Punjab Group of Colleges late on Wednesday night. The case was registered on the complaint of Muhammad Nawaz Warraich, a resident of Canal View, against Mian Amer, Dr Sohail Afzal, Tahir Aagha, Major (r) Saleem and 60 other unidentified people. Warraich claimed in his complaint that his two daughters Farah Nawaz and Zainab Nawaz were students of the Punjab Group of Colleges and on January 9, he dropped them both off to attend a cultural show organised by the college administration where both sustained serious injuries along with dozens of other girls in a stampede. He said Farah later died at Services Hospital while Zainab was discharged after treatment. He said in his complaint that the people he had named were responsible for the death of his daughter, so police registered a case against them.
However, as expected, the Dunya News TV and its paid employees (journalists, anchors) have started making false hue and cry, politicizing a purely criminal case against their CEO. While Dunya TV anchors and other paid propagandists of Mian Amer Mehmood want to politicize the case, by presenting it as a conspiracy against free media, the police and the judiciary as well as the Punjab government must not bow down to the blackmailing tactics of Mian Amer Mehmood. He, along with all other accused, must be arrested and justice must be seen to be served.
Ironically, the champion of justice and rule of law, Imran Khan too has decided to support and protect the killer by politicizing the murder case. This is what Imran Khan wrote in a Twitter message on 10 Feb:
ImranKhanPTI Imran Khan
All pls forward message: PML-N resorted to death threats to owner and anchors of Dunya TV. Let world know true nature of these people
9 Feb 2012
In the meanwhile, Dunya TV is busy in the baseless propaganda misleading other journalists and media organizations:
Dunya News Bureau Chief Salman Ghani told reporters that the case was registered by the police on the instructions of the Punjab government in order to stop Dunya News from telling the truth about it and exposing its misdeeds, especially the negligence of the Punjab government in the spurious drugs scandal.
Finally, Dunay TV and Mian Amer were successful in their dirty pressure tactics, the Punjab government’s law minster announced that the murder case against Mian Amer was being suspended:
In a late night development, the Punjab government directed Punjab Police to suspend the first information report (FIR) against Mian Amer and the others. Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told reporters that the case registered against Mian Amer and others was illegal as police could not register two cases of one incident. He said the home secretary had conducted an enquiry earlier in which he held former Model Town Division superintendent of police (SP) Malik Awais responsible for the incident in which the girl lost her life. On the recommendation of the home secretary, he said, the Punjab government had transferred and suspended Awais, who later got the case registered against Mian Amer and others. He said the Punjab government had ordered Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Maj Mubashar Ullah to conduct an enquiry into the negligence of police in this regard. Mian Amer later on called the presidents of all unions of journalists and thanked them for their cooperation.
We note with concern that Pakistan’s media as well as bloggers are generally silent on this episode. Except BBC Urdu and Pakistan Today, the news of the murder case against Mian Amer was blacked out by all Pakistani newspapers and channels. Almost all human rights organizations and activists too are silent on this case because of blackmailing tactics of Dunya TV and also because many of them are personal friends of Dunya TV anchors Nasim Zehra, Mubashir Lucman etc. Pakistan Blogzine refuses to be a part of this criminal silence!
Ironically, a section of the media had downplayed the entire incident which left the students in utter awe. The section of media includes some newspapers and TV channels, either owned by the same group of colleges or in commercial relations with each other. Sultan Malik a student of PCC said, “The media had created its hegemony and trying to silence those speaking against their commercial interests; it’s really sad.” (Source: Pakistan Today
A woman escort her injured daughter to the Services Hospital following a stampede at a concert at the Alhamra Cultural Comlpex on Monday night. (Photo: Pakistan Today)
Comments (various sources)
Just bcause CEO of Punjab Colleges has a TV channel he should get away with homicide. These were three young girls who died because of criminal negligence of a school owned by this man who gained prominence under Mush and has become billionaire. Please remember this paper claims to be legacy of a prominent journalist, a man who stood up for principles.
Is the media going to behave like a mafia of the lawyers?. Mian Amir must be tried for death of these 3 innocent young girls. This blackmail by this channel must not be allowed.
Mian Amir a beneficiary of a dictator whose anchor ML was a minister in that cabinet should not be allowed to get away with blackmail and abuse and evade prosecution for Culpable Homicide of 3 innocent teenagers who died in a stampede while attending an overcrowded musical concert arranged by a school owned by him at a hall with inadequate capacity and emergency exits for an emergency evacuation. Media should behave with responsibility instead of grouping together for a man like Mian Amir who has used his channel to blackmail others and help him get away with criminal irregularities and violations of law.
Mian amir was city nazim of Musharf now he is working for pti .dunya channel is mafia .our media is going to destroy our country.
Jan 10, 2012
One of those “five critically injured students” is my sister and they could not go any more beyond misrepresentation as they already have. They Did Not transfer her to the hospital, if it wasnt for some random student there who saw my sister being stampeded over and dragged her aside, she would have died. The girl called us through my sister’s cell phone and then when we tried to get to the place to pick her up, they wouldnt even let us anywhere near the area. The entrances were closed and the police was neither helping the students themselves, nor letting anyone else get inside to do it. We finally made contact with someone on the inside of Gaddafi stadium. They picked up my sister, while she was unconcious, covered in blood and had been run over by hundreds of girls. And when I say “hundreds” I do Not exaggerate. We found our own way to Services hospital and still were unaware of what had actually transpired. There, a media personnel informed us of the event. Just right now, as my sister is still in the hospital, recieving Oxygen and undergoing X rays and Ultrasounds, we have found out that it was the College Guards that started the stampede by raising their sticks on the girls that were running after Atif Aslam and started the entire panick. There was NO Bomb threat. I repeat. There was NO Bomb Threat. That is the fancy cover up created by “The Private College’s” media smartasses. If Punjab College Management feel that they can keep this under the wraps, then they are sorely mistaken, I went thier too, a few years ago, and I have great respect for the education system. However, this is intolerable! They are responsible for the death of three innocent students. They are responsoble for the physical and pshycological damage caused to multiple other students. They will be held accountable. If the media in our country really is as free as it claims to be: you might want to print the truth.
Jan 10, 2012 – 6:30AM
@ zainab iqtidar
Sorry about your sister. Your comment is full of disappointment and anger as it should be. Dont know if you want to even think about this right now but the punjab group of colleges actually owns a lot of our media. You must have seen ads on private news channels and just before hourly news sessions that show that they actually sponsor and fund a lot of media channels. That said, it still doesnt mean that no action will be taken. Your sister is lucky that she was rescued and i pray for her health. Why was she taken to services hospital when there is a hospital right next to gaddafi stadium called hameed lateef hospital? Was it because of the pressure of circumstances at that time or because of some other reason?
Jan 10, 2012 – 7:26AM
The organisers haven’t learned from what happened in India few days back in Delhi. They should have anticipated this and not just go for collections. They have to arrested and thrown in jail.
Jan 10, 2012 – 9:27AM
I am shocked to read this news. This is horrifying to imagine how 3 poor little girls were killed and 10 others injured. The administration of Punjab College must be held responsible. There was no bomb threat, they are lying through the media they own.
They brag of bringing Atif Aslam to their concerts, yet could not control any untoward situation. And let more and more people come in and try to create a ‘Mahol’ for the bloody singers. They don’t care about their students, all they care about is to control the people like animals with their uncompetitive guards.
At anytime the faculty of Punjab College who have no expertise to control such situations would order to close the doors without analyzing the situation of the crowd.
Years back we faced the same situation. And i remember if i didn’t have a support of my friend i would have died in the hands of the mad crowd trying to get in to watch Atif Aslam.
Jan 10, 2012 – 10:41AM
It is more digusting to note that Mian Aamer Mehmood (Punjab Group of Colleges Director) also owns Dunya News and has a major stake in the Lahore-based C42 channel. Both channels did not air this news the whole night, not for a second. Shameful!
Jan 10, 2012 – 12:42PM
Another case of negligence by an ignorant school administration. Unfortunately, like the Kalar Kahar Bus incident, where the owner of the school was taken into custody, here the mighty influential Mian Amer will go unpunished, rather untouched. Our sympathies are with the parents of the deceased girls, as our heads hang in shame for this traversity of justice.
The security guards are not responsible for this..Since i had been the part of the same institute and such stupid events had been happening all the way..Guards do what they are asked to.Catch the admin and parents also should think once before sending their childern to such places.
My sister was one of the five critically injured students. The Media is not highlighting the extent of damage done to the students. The girl on the next bed to hers had a fractured Spinal Cord! Two had fractured legs and their faces were beyong recognition. My sister is on oxygen right now. They need to be held responsible! The cant just shrug this under the rug. The guards baton charged the girls and they failed to open the gates. They opened them when a huge pressure had already built up by the panicked girls, scared of the guards. Students flooded through the gates and those who fell got crushed.
My sister was also there Thanks to Allah that she manage to safe her life but her friend she died and they both fell during stampede ….We all are here in Saudi Arabia we just send our sister in good hands for study …but just imagine this is the good hands ..after two days nobody will remember about this accident….what about the media this is our independent media….These girls wese innocent…my sister stil in shock her mom is weaping and crying since last night….just imagine the feelings of those whs lost their daughters ……plz Pakistan we are still watiing for only one thing which can benefit your people…we are being abused by other societies because we are responsible
ZainabFatimaa Zainab Fatima
Father of Farah lodged FIR against Mian Amir.She ws killed in stampede at Atif concert.they politicized this issue2avoid arrest #DuniyaGardi
Mian Amir was named in an FIR by the father of a girl who died in the stampede. That’s why the propaganda.
According to a source in #PTI, Mian Amir is expected to drink Tabdeeli Cola soon. Explains why Imran Khan and his fans are defending him.
#PTI siding with Dunya TV shouldn’t be a surprise. Musharraf ki team kay loag, Musharraf kay dost Mian Amir kay saath hi rahain gay hamesha.
ZainabFatimaa Zainab Fatima
#duniyatv ws established just2praise Ql league during Mush era by Mian Amir,who ws mayor of LHR.but Alas!Q got Kicked out #Duniyagardi
FawadKhalid Fawad Khalid
how many hours of tranmission you done on saleem shahzad murder with “bol k lab azad hae tere’ song in background? #DuniyaGardi
Educational Entrepreneur Mian Amir Mahmood & @MubasherLucman don’t know what Transparant Journalism is. Shame on #DunyaTV for #DuniyaGardi
a_w123 Abdul Wahab
@MubasherLucman If u want FIR at Shebaz for building collapse then why u cry if Mian Amir is held culprit for girls killed in his college
Tariq_Vaid Tariq Vaid
According to a source in #PTI, Mian Amir is expected to drink Tabdeeli Cola soon. Explains why IK & his fans r defending him. | #DuniyaGardi
zainkhan_ Zain Khan
@Umair_Tarar an FIR was launched against mian amir & duniya news was being given threats. Though later yest night the fir was taken back
Duniya and Mian Amir Mehmood along with Mubisher Lucman are serial blackmailers. They are reacting to a FIR.
tazeen T a z e e n
What is more ironic? Shahbaz Shareef quoting Habib Jalib or Dunya playing Faiz’s Bol ke Lab azad hain for Mian Amir?
3 students died in Lahore due to Mian Amir, while Geo New is misleading viewers by attributing it to bomb scare