Published On: Mon, Dec 23rd, 2013
Published in Category: Peshawar

Bashir Bilour remembered on Dec 22

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PESHAWAR: ANP’s Bashir Bilour is remembered whenever bombs go off in the city, as it was inevitable that he would go to the spot and challenge the attackers without caring for his life.

According to media reports, a year has passed since he lost his life in a suicide attack, but his memories remain strong in his hometown Peshawar.

Bilours first death anniversary is being observed on Sunday, December 22.
His death in the suicide bombing in Dhaki Naalbandi in Qissa Khwani on December 22 was a major blow to the ANP-led provincial government as he was senior minister in the cabinet.

He was a true political leader and was a man of the masses. Without him we feel poorer and vulnerable, He said Abdur Rauf, a retired government employee from Kohati locality.

Respect for him was above the party divide. One of his qualities as many people said was the fact that he treated people equally irrespective of their political affiliation. I am chairman of PPP Gulab Khana ward and he knew that I never voted for him but Bashir Khan helped me resolve my two personal enmities, Sultan Shah said.

He never treated the people on the basis of their status. One could see him sitting on bare floor with vendors selling goods on pushcarts, said Rizwan Shah, a milk-seller.

Bashir Bilour was the most vocal voice against the militants. He and the then information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain, who lost his only son in an attack by the Taliban, were the face and soul of the anti-Taliban forces in Pakistan.

People from different walks of life interviewed separately eulogised Bashir Bilours courage and sacrifice. Mubarak Ali, a cobbler in Mochi Pura, said: The death of Bashir Bilour gave us the amount of pain that one feels after losing one’s parents. His death orphaned us.

The fact that he was accessible also impressed those who knew him. One could wake him up at midnight, said Nauman Khan, a carpenter in Kakshal. He was always there be it a marriage or funeral. He was part of our lives, he recalled.

Bashir Bilour was respected most for his bravery. His death saddened the people across the country. The national flag was flown at half-mast and his death was widely mourned. His fight against terrorism was recognised a year before his death as he was awarded Hilal-e-Shujaat in 2011.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain, a senior leader of ANP, said that Bashir Bilour gave supreme sacrifice for peace, rule of law, supremacy of constitution and democracy and the Pakhtuns were proud of him.

Several poems have been written in his memory. A poem by famous Pashto poet Nimroz Qais sung by Humayun Khan remembered him in these words: Khpala Zindagi de Sadaqa La Khpal Watana Ka, Ta Kho Aye Bashira Pakhtunkhwa Tola Ghamjana Ka (You sacrificed your life for your country, O Bashir you have saddened entire Pakhtunkhwa).
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