Tahirul Qadri sent Rs0.5 million bill for damage to December 23 rally venue

Published: January 13, 2013
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"The city government gave the MQI permission for a peaceful event. They were not permitted to destroy the park," PHA spokesperson.

"The city government gave the MQI permission for a peaceful event. They were not permitted to destroy the park," PHA spokesperson.

LAHORE: 

The Minhajul Quran International has rejected a notice from the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) demanding over half a million rupees for damage done to the Minar-i-Pakistan ground in Tahirul Qadri’s rally there on December 23.

Hundreds of thousands of people took part in the rally and they damaged the plantations and stole grills and fences from the ground, according to the PHA. The authority sent a notice to Dr Qadri, the MQI chairman, stating that the participants caused damages worth Rs185,400 to the grass and flowers, and Rs322,170 to the landscaping and grills. It also sent photographs of the damage.

The notice was sent to Dr Qadri, the chairman of the MQI, at his office in Model Town’s M Block. It does not mention a deadline, but states that the payment must be made “as soon as possible”.

But Haji Ghulam Mustafa, the media relations officer of the MQI, rejected the notice as a politically-motivated attempt to embarrass the party. He conceded that the participants in the rally may have damaged some flower beds, but denied that they had stolen any grills. “We will not pay a single penny,” he told The Express Tribune.

He said that student supporters and volunteers of the Tehreek had cleaned the venue right after the rally, as they did after every MQI event over the last 32 years. He said that the pictures sent with the notice were of when workers were setting up washrooms and the stage and making other arrangements for the rally. “We left the ground in the same condition as it was before,” Mustafa said.

He said that instead of sending a “threatening letter” to Dr Qadri, the PHA should have reached out to Haji Syed Altaf Shah Gillani, the chief security officer of the MQI. Throughout the planning process for the rally, the city government had been corresponding with Gillani, he said. “Sending a letter to the chairman was totally uncalled for and unethical,” he added.

He also questioned why the PHA had not reported the damage or assessed its cost earlier.

Javed Shaida, the public relations officer for the PHA, said that the city government had given the MQI permission to stage a peaceful event. “They were not permitted to destroy the park, which is a public property,” he said.

He added that the PHA had been lenient with the MQI, as the damage done to the park in the rally was worse than the charges demanded. The authority would initiate legal action in case of non-payment, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2013. 

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Reader Comments (7)

  • yusuf
    Jan 13, 2013 - 8:17AM

    I think Rs. 500,000 takes less space to be written than Rs. 0.5 million, but of course million sounds bigger. Hence, serves the purpose of media to make an elephant out of every ant just to sell the news !!

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jan 13, 2013 - 11:12AM

    You can put anything in his pocket but taking out something is out of question. Bill of damages should be forwarded to hidden hands.

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  • iconoclast
    Jan 13, 2013 - 4:39PM

    @Yousaf 500,000 (7 letters) and 0.5 Million (9) wow some difference media is making. !!!
    BTW what difference does it make, of course you may be hurt being the support of Molvi Long March. Otherwise it means the same.

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  • Ishmael
    Jan 13, 2013 - 11:18PM

    @Yusuf,
    0.5 million sounds bigger than 500,000. You need to do your maths again. Both are perfectly equal and represent the same damage that has been done to the public property.

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  • Jan 13, 2013 - 11:59PM

    If he does not pay in thirty days , charge him interest plus penalty . If he still does not , freeze his account and take the money directly out of his account. If he does not have any account confiscate any properties he has and sell it for the amount he owes to the PHA. State has the power to take this money. That is the way it is done in western countries including his newly adopted country of Canada.

    Disclaimer. I am not an accountant.

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  • Jibran
    Jan 14, 2013 - 6:23AM

    @Ishmael:
    You totally missed Yusuf’s point!

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  • Rizwan Raja
    Jan 14, 2013 - 5:35PM

    Today is 14 Jan. What’s conclusion? It will come at end tonight. We all just want a peaceful, safe, and prosperous Pakistan. We need actions, not words. I’m positive about this change and Whoever raises the voice against the worst done of Government, i’m with him. i don’t care he is common person or Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri.

    Lots of prayers for Pakistan !

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