PTI rejects committee formed to probe Qasim Bagh incident

Published: October 11, 2014
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PTI vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi and others offering funeral prayers of PTI workers killed during stampede in public meeting at Ibn-e-Qasim Bagh Stadium. PHOTO: INP

PTI vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi and others offering funeral prayers of PTI workers killed during stampede in public meeting at Ibn-e-Qasim Bagh Stadium. PHOTO: INP

PTI vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi and others offering funeral prayers of PTI workers killed during stampede in public meeting at Ibn-e-Qasim Bagh Stadium. PHOTO: INP PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi. PHOTO: AFP PHOTO: SHAHID BASHIR/EXPRESS

MULTAN: PTI vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced his party’s rejection of a three-member committee formed by the Punjab government to probe into the Qasim Bagh tragedy which left seven people dead.

Speaking exclusively to Express News about the incident, Qureshi voiced his contempt towards the government in regard to the formation of the committee.

“This is all just drama from the government. Yesterday they said this incident was an accident, but today they have formed a committee.”

In response to a question about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan not being present at the venue and funerals on Saturday, Qureshi said, “He will be coming [to Multan] tomorrow, and he will visit the deceased workers’ houses.”

Further, responding to former PTI president Javed Hashmi’s statement about the party wanting an opportunity to politicise deaths, Qureshi said, “His accusations are part of his election campaign which he is busy with. And anyway, why would we want our supporters, who love us, to die?”

Punjab govt forms three-member committee to probe incident

The Punjab government on Saturday formed a three-member committee to probe into the Qasim Bagh tragedy , Express News reported.

At least seven people were killed and more than 100 wounded in a stampede at the Ibne Qasim Bagh Stadium minutes after the PTI rally concluded on October 10. The commotion had started when power supply to the families’ section went off and they moved towards the gate reserved for youngsters.

Secretary for environment Iqbal Muhammad Chauhan, DIG Ali Amir and Special Secretary interior Dr Shoaib Akbar are the three members of the committee, which has been directed to present a report to the provincial chief minister in the next two to three days.

Qureshi blames DCO Multan

PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, while addressing a press conference in Multan, blamed DCO Multan Zahid Saleem Gondal for the stampede at the party’s rally in the city.

He said that Gondal was hiding facts by giving wrong statements.

Qureshi added that the administration put PTI chairperson Imran Khan’s life in danger.

Express News screengrab of Shah Mehmood Qureshi addressing the press conference in Multan.

The PTI vice chairperson stated that the tragedy was not accidental, it was a planned conspiracy by the administration, adding that it showed the administration’s negligence.

He revealed that he told CPO a day before the rally that Gondal was making the atmosphere in the city bad.

Qureshi also said that all the deaths were because of suffocation not because of torture.

He also said that Imran will come to Multan tomorrow (October 12) and reveal the compensation package.

Earlier today, while speaking to Express News, Qureshi reportedly said that justice cannot prevail in the presence of DCO Multan, adding that he does not expect justice from the chief minister’s investigation team.

Findings

Just two exit gates of the stadium were open, one for women and the other for young party activists and the general public, at the time of the tragedy, Express News reported.

PTI has said that two exit gates were open, however, DCO Multan has said that five gates were open.

Two of the gates were permanently closed with bricks while one was locked.

The event management company, which was given the contract to organise the rally by PTI, removed the ladder to get on stage.

The control of electricity inside the gathering was given to the event management company while electricity outside the gathering was the responsibility of the district administration’s contractor.

DCO Multan has said that PTI was responsible for security inside the gathering, adding that “our task was to provide security outside it”.

Report submitted

An initial report on the tragedy has been registered at Lohari Gate Police Station.

SHO Lohari Gate declared the incident as a matter of accident.

The report has confirmed the death of seven people.

Funeral

Funeral prayers of two of the deceased have been offered. Former PTI president Javed Hashmi and the PTI vice chairperson also attended the funeral.

Express News screengrab of the funeral.

It was also reported that Hashmi’s car was stopped briefly by the local administration when he was leaving after the attending the funeral.

“PTI wants the opportunity to politicise deaths,” Hashmi said later while addressing the media.

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Reader Comments (54)

  • usman786
    Oct 11, 2014 - 11:21AM

    seems mis-management by the event company

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  • Parvez
    Oct 11, 2014 - 11:33AM

    It’s childish to blame others……..take responsibility and improve yourselves……that’s maturity.

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  • Mirza
    Oct 11, 2014 - 11:34AM

    Everybody should be blamed except the organizers of PTI and those who had gate for VIP reserved. Stop blaming others and take some responsibility. These are dead bodies of your own workers that should not have been dead.

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  • yasir
    Oct 11, 2014 - 11:34AM

    It’s a very sad incident. It’s even more sad that how politicians will use this incident to gain political mileage although they themselves escaped through VIP gate and then into a private jet from the rally they organised to boost their egos.

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  • sabi
    Oct 11, 2014 - 11:41AM

    Dharna walas are top class liars and third class actors whose ultimate fate is roten eggs and tomatoes.Lo and behold !

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  • abc
    Oct 11, 2014 - 12:00PM

    PTI must make sure the security of every single person. There will be short comings but its their responsibility to hold events well organized. Hire international event management firms to get rid of thugs.

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  • Xman
    Oct 11, 2014 - 12:04PM

    Another blame game as usual by PTI. If the gates were closed, why didn’t the event management company have them opened before the end of event? Why didn’t PTI organisers ensure that there was an orderly exodus of the mob? Why was SMQ busy silencing people when others were passing out and calling for ambulance? These fasadis can’t handle a jalsa, talk about running a country.

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  • Hatim
    Oct 11, 2014 - 12:26PM

    The differences in the initial report and statement of the DCO are enough to warrant his suspension. Only then can a transparent inquiry be carried out.

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  • lalai
    Oct 11, 2014 - 12:54PM

    What about your part of the blame? Are you there just to blame others even for you own mistakes??

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  • kfaisal
    Oct 11, 2014 - 1:23PM

    Rallies aap karen aur organise DCO ker kay dey. Wah PTI wah

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  • Bilal
    Oct 11, 2014 - 1:27PM

    Its no secret City gov was not cooperating with PTI … the lighting story was published a day before the jalsa itself. Having said that it seems that crowd was more than what the venue could handle. PTI punjab, the event management company and City gov could have done more to avoid this situation. Jalsas should be held in open spaces. Stadiums are not a good idea

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  • Usman
    Oct 11, 2014 - 1:38PM

    The punjab government is very cunning they intentionally closed gates from outside people recorded videos on their cell phones. My relatives were present in the event. Water thrown by fire brigade made people slip.

    Shame on PML-N they can’t even handle any opposition.

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  • Freed
    Oct 11, 2014 - 1:41PM

    When is the committee on flood mismanagement coming? When is committee on rampant corruption coming? Where is the committee on looting through electrical billing? where is Gulllo butt? What happen to NAB? How about committee on lahore model town murders? these issue can hurt democracy.

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  • Ayesha manzar khan
    Oct 11, 2014 - 1:42PM

    This is all orcestrated by PML N who are scared of. PTI

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  • Ayesha manzar khan
    Oct 11, 2014 - 1:45PM

    This is all done by Nawaz sharifs party to show how PTI have not done proper arragement, PML N is doing old style and cheap politics

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  • sofee
    Oct 11, 2014 - 1:46PM

    Why turn the lights off? Why not allow other gates to open? No good answer, other than to cause chaos.

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  • Sofee
    Oct 11, 2014 - 2:01PM

    This govt. will do anything and stoop down to any level to maintain power.

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  • abc
    Oct 11, 2014 - 2:02PM

    Sad incident and we stand with the those who lost their loved ones. PTI must fully compensate all those who got affected and make sure this doesn’t happen again. All those who are responsible must be placed behind bars and inquiry must take place.

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  • A Pakistani
    Oct 11, 2014 - 3:25PM

    I really hope both PTI and PML N doesn’t politicize this matter, it’s an accident. But something can’t be ignored, why for such a large number of people were only two gates opened when the area had six gates?.

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  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Oct 11, 2014 - 3:31PM

    Appeal but humanitarian. Without imputing and or accusing either PTI or government or both I am to very humbly submit that done is done which cannot be undone even if we try but nevertheless it must be remembered and realized that yet lot is to be done which needs our immediate and serious attention to be honest if we have human heart in ourselves. Yesterday at Imran Khan jalsa in stadium in Multan after jalsa at the time when attendees wanted to go home from the venue as many as 7 people have died and many more injured both serious and minor and therefore taking cognizance of the situation in the first instance we must help the families of all those who have died and then we should reach those also who have been injured. At this grave hour I before proceeding any further on the subject I may very humbly submit, if not annoying, that now when we haven been inflicted with grief we should be absolutely sympathetic to all those who have suffered yesterday in Multan but without any reference to their political association, age, education, profession, color, caste, creed, religion, language or the area they belong to instead we should treat them at par both as Pakistanis and human. I as an individual in my personal capacity will do whatever humanly possible for me and at the same time I very humbly request my compatriots both within Pakistan or overseas to please come forward and help the needy in any manner they can to earn Allah’s blessings. I am pretty sure that all those who need our support will be vey heartily patronized like it has always been demonstrated in the past as and when situation demanded so due to earthquake, epidemic, floods and fire etc and hence there is no question whatsoever that the needy will be neglected at this point of time. Allah loves those who love others. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Former Diplomat / [email protected]

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  • baig
    Oct 11, 2014 - 3:33PM

    Mr Quraishi is a big actor, this time he is looking for somebody’s shoulder.Why he cant be honest.He is responsible for this accident …………….

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  • M M Malik
    Oct 11, 2014 - 3:37PM

    Bullet and bomb proof black SUVs, VIP gates, private jets, air condition containers, bani gala escapades, music ……… Is this the Naya Pakistan?

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  • Ali
    Oct 11, 2014 - 3:47PM

    New Evidence has surfaced which clearly points towards the DCO Multan
    1. Despite DCO claims it has been established PTI’s Generators were working and stadium was Lit
    2. The Street Lights surrounding the Stadium were switched off every one could see through Helicam video and from Eye Witness Video Fotage now available online
    3. Contrary to the DCO Multan claims that All exit doors were open a very damaging video has been released which shows how the Exit Gates were Locked by the Police from Out side
    4. Water Canons were used by the DCO, which caused panic & people slipped in the dark exits
    I am no expert but all the evidence points towards a conspiracy , I leave it on the experts to decide by themselves

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  • Sam
    Oct 11, 2014 - 4:13PM

    PTI members, Just because you scream the loudest does not make you correct. See how you are always the loudest in blame games 0_o And this matter about closed gates, PTI should have ensured all gates were opened BEFORE the jalsa ended. They would have easily identified the problem if admin was trying to play dirty and could have just made an announcement about the issue and asked ppl to stay calm! since ppl listen so attentively to IK I am sure that announcement would have helped!

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  • Ahmad Khan
    Oct 11, 2014 - 5:32PM

    What PML-N is trying to do is cut FIR of 302 against Imran Khan and top leadership of PTI. Everyone knows it wasn’t PT’s fault. Go Nawaz Go

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  • Abid P. Khan
    Oct 11, 2014 - 6:27PM

    @M M Malik:
    “Bullet and bomb proof black SUVs, VIP gates, private jets, air condition containers, bani gala escapades, music ……… Is this the Naya Pakistan?”

    In Purana Pakistan they still call it by its real name—-VVIP Culture.

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  • Naveed
    Oct 11, 2014 - 7:28PM

    Sad incident but As long as Khan sahab and our top leadership is safe, we need to continue our journey towards naya pakistan. Revolution always needs sacrifices.

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  • oBSERVER
    Oct 11, 2014 - 8:38PM

    It was PTI function and the organizers should have the dignity to take responsibility. DCO is a minion and too small a fry.If all five gates were not open then what did the organizers do about it? The manner in which the public was behaving this outcome was the expected result.The manner in which the stage was crowded is witness enough of total disarray. There were no stairs and every one used an electrical tower to get on the stage.What a shame and yet Shah Mahmood is looking for scape goats!Knowing the evil intentions of PML N administration there was need for extra caution.First night in Islamabad had similer ugly scenario.But they did not learn.Shah Mahmud should kick himself and sack those who did not do their job.

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  • syed baqar ahsan
    Oct 11, 2014 - 8:38PM

    I was there it is nobody’s fault accept those young people who were as a fun sack pushing each other forward to go out of stadium and few got imbalance and had last fall of there life laughters were turn into sorrows in seconds.But merciless and impatient in fellow pressed those fallen under there feet with brutal funny smile on their faces and killed own party comrades.But we can wait for CNG for hours in long Qs and let no gas for cooking in the house. what are we ???????

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  • Zaid Noorsumar
    Oct 11, 2014 - 9:07PM

    The PTI vice chairperson stated that the tragedy was not accidental, it was a planned conspiracy by the administration, adding that it showed the administration’s negligence —

    Shah Mahmood needs to make up his mind whether this was a conspiracy or negligence; it can’t be both.

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  • Abid
    Oct 11, 2014 - 9:17PM

    Punjab is a nightmare for anyone seeking transparency or justice….this committee will only be used as instrument of vendetta La Shahbaz style…..

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  • Chachoo
    Oct 11, 2014 - 9:37PM

    How come PTI could sought the services of government officials when Imran Khan is on Social Boycott mode where he dont accept any government and any of the officials.? Imran Khan dont want to pay taxes but he is enjoying the Security of the government’s provided Elite force?
    Also the foreign donors of PTI are demanding to open up all the accounts of PTI as we dont know where the money is being used in PTI. PTI website offers no Audit of any funds received and it is a shame and nothing else.

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  • Muslim Leaguer
    Oct 11, 2014 - 11:46PM

    @Naveed: if so, then Let’s pray that you also get the same fate as those 50 casualties to “sacrifice” for the obsessed selfish getting Prime Ministership!

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  • Muslim Leaguer
    Oct 12, 2014 - 12:01AM

    This is the most stupid act of PTI’s obsessed leaders to start politicking on the dead bodies.
    Rogue & Violent Imran Khan has been threatening the police from touching any PTI youthia. He reserved the VIP Gate for himself and came to Multan on a private jet (The annual tax paid by Imran Khan & minions does not justify travel by private jets!). Imran Khan arrogantly continued his speech when a few boys fainted.
    Live TV channels have shown DJ Butt asking for water for the 3 fainted men. But Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi gave him a shut up call through his left hand. Similarly, Sheikh Rasheed also rejected the appeals and continued with his hate slogans.
    Different TV Channels were showing Live the mismanagement & hooliganism in PTI jalsa. The youthias even tortured a cameraman and a female anchor (Gharida Farooqi).
    Imran Khan vanished from the jalsa to catch his private jet leaving the fainted & injured people high & dry. 7 people have died and more than 43 got injured to please the egos of IK, SMQ & SR.
    Thanks to Allah that Pakistan remains safe from these opportunist+egotists!

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  • Muslim Leaguer
    Oct 12, 2014 - 12:04AM

    @Freed:
    Burger Logic: whenever you are asked to clarify something, hide yourself behind counter-allegations.

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  • ObserverUSA
    Oct 12, 2014 - 12:17AM

    D.J. Butt announced a couple to times and said two participants had become unconscious or exhausted, were brought to the stage, and ambulance was needed but SMQ continued with his address unconcerned as he remarked: “khair hai, khair hai.” How callous. He did not take immediate action to get the ambulance. His message, he must have thought, was more important than coming to the rescue of PTI supporters, more important than saving the life of PTI supporters that were risking their lives for the sake of PTI.

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  • Navaid
    Oct 12, 2014 - 12:50AM

    Immediate FIR needs to be lodged against Imran Khan and PTI leadership for the gruesome deaths of Pakistani citizens.

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  • PTI Workers United
    Oct 12, 2014 - 1:09AM

    My Great Khan will be prime minisiter even if he has to arrange for 100 stampedes!

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  • Jane
    Oct 12, 2014 - 1:15AM

    @sofee: The fault lies with PTI. There event management turned of the lights as soon as the top leadership of PTI left to save cost. Shame on PTI. Imran Khan should resign since this happened on his watch.Recommend

  • Jane
    Oct 12, 2014 - 1:16AM

    @Bilal:
    The responsibility to hold the jalsa lies with PTI. Blood of the dead is on their handsRecommend

  • Shah
    Oct 12, 2014 - 1:18AM

    @Usman:
    Sir u cant blame the pmln government for all your ills. Gross negligence by PTI caused deaths. Though I dont support pmln, but here pti is at fault. As a PTI voter I seek Imran Khans resignation.

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  • Shah
    Oct 12, 2014 - 1:19AM

    @Freed:
    The only one hurting the people and democracy is PTI. I wonder why Imtran Khans kids dont attend the jalsa.

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  • Shah
    Oct 12, 2014 - 1:21AM

    @Sofee:
    To the contrary we see PTI stooping to new lows everyday. The blood is on PTI hand and no matter what you say the blame rests with PTI.

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  • Shah
    Oct 12, 2014 - 1:22AM

    @Abid:
    @Sofee:
    To the contrary we see PTI stooping to new lows everyday. The blood is on PTI hand and no matter what you say the blame rests with PTI. PTI should man up and accept negligence.

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  • Rakhi
    Oct 12, 2014 - 1:25AM

    @Naveed:
    Shame on PTI for getting innocent people killed to achieve their evil designs to topple an elected government.

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  • Rakhi
    Oct 12, 2014 - 1:26AM

    @Ahmad Khan:
    It was PTIs fault. Your jalsa your responsibility to manage it and ensure safety.

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  • Rakhi
    Oct 12, 2014 - 1:30AM

    @Ali:
    You cant twist words and facts to get out of this. It was PTIs job to manage the people and organize the jalsa. The fact is that the agreement signed by PTI Multan president states that he will be responsible for any damage whatsoever. The government allowed you the place of your choice. How u manage your jalsa is your headache not the governments. Imran go home and stay there

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  • Sofee
    Oct 12, 2014 - 1:33AM

    I see the light, I have seen the agreement executed between the DCO and PTI rep and it clearly states all responsibility lies with PTi. Feel ashamed of blindly supporting PTI. More so I am disgusted that Imran Khan did not attend the funeral today.

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  • Khan Gul
    Oct 12, 2014 - 2:01AM

    PTI Moto: No need for a committee when you can do a dharna

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  • Azam Khan
    Oct 12, 2014 - 4:22AM

    @baig:
    How is Mr. Qureshi responsible ?

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  • Azam Khan
    Oct 12, 2014 - 4:27AM

    @Abid P. Khan: Anything; but no lies and corruption.

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  • Baloch Insafian
    Oct 12, 2014 - 4:49AM

    All those enlightened souls blaming PTI for the incident, did they blame PPP for the Benazir death as well?

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  • Sara
    Oct 12, 2014 - 10:52AM

    @Sofee:
    Oh yeah…Really…l would be greatful if you could post it on here so we can all SEE it…or the link to where you SAW it…..unfortunately you will do neither as I suspect you are just hallucinating.
    Moral….don’t talk unless you can walk your talk!

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  • Usman
    Oct 13, 2014 - 12:33AM

    I have come up with the conclusion that PMLN Govt has some support across the border. I often see Rahul, Ajeet, Mahesh and other Indians in the comments section endorsing our Govt.

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