Four people were killed in a car crash in the capital on Monday night after a four-wheel drive, allegedly driven by the son of federal ombudswoman Kashmala Tariq, crashed into another vehicle on Srinagar Highway.
According to a first information report lodged at the Ramna police station on Tuesday, five men, who came from Mansehra to Islamabad to write an exam for the Anti-Narcotics Force, were travelling in a Mehran which was hit by a Lexus at the G-11 traffic signal.
A motorcycle rider was also hit and is injured, the FIR said, adding that the driver of the Lexus was son of Federal Ombudswoman for Protection of Women against Harassment Kashmala Tariq.
The victims were rescued by people who had gathered at the site of the car crash and were taken to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims). Four of the passengers in the car expired while one, who is the complainant in the FIR, was injured.
The complainant said when he was rescued, people who had gathered at the site were naming Tariq's son as the driver of the car that hit them.
Islamabad police confirmed the accident but did not name the suspect. In a tweet, the capital police said a "tragic accident" took place at a signal in G-11 which resulted in the death of four people.
The tweet added that the vehicle and its driver were in police custody.
The police are also trying to contact the families of the victims, it said.
Speaking to reporters at her residence on Tuesday evening, Tariq denied that her son was driving the car, saying he was in another vehicle.
Detailing how the incident transpired, Tariq said she along with her family were returning to Islamabad from Lahore at around 10:45pm on Monday when the collision took place at the G-11 signal.
She said she and her husband were travelling in the white Lexus that was being driven by her driver, while her son, a police guard and a driver were in a black Toyota Fortuner behind them.
Tariq said she and her husband were asleep when their car collided with another vehicle, hurling them forwards at the seats.
"It was too late by then [...] All of our car's airbags were deployed and we couldn't leave the vehicle; I was bleeding through the nose," said the ombudswoman, whose injuries were bandaged.
She said her husband also received injuries and remained at the scene and called an ambulance before going to a police station along with her son.
She denied reports that her family members had fled the scene, saying they themselves had called for help.
"It's sad that we are being subjected to a media trial as if this was a planned thing or political event," she said, requesting authorities to release the CCTV footage of the accident.
Tariq claimed that her driver and the driver of the Mehran were both at fault because both had sped up even though the signal was about to turn red.
"Maybe because I serve on this post, maybe some people don't like my work, maybe because I am not accepting sifarish (request for favourable treatment) in some important cases pending with me, I am being victimised for the last 10-12 days," she said, adding that she hadn't joined any political party after the PML-Q.
PM takes notice
Addressing a press conference later in the day, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken "strict notice" of the incident and directed authorities to end the "culture of using [these vehicles] more for protocol than for security".
Faraz said that the prime minister had "condemned the incident" in a meeting of the cabinet today and tasked the relevant authorities, especially at the federal level, to "strongly discourage this culture".
"The mechanism is very clear. If anybody has security issues, a committee analyses and recommends whether a bulletproof car or security [guards are needed]. Our philosophy is that we are here for the people's service and not to display our might," he said, adding that during the meeting, officials from the interior ministry had assured that the premier's directives would be implemented.