ISLAMABAD - The fears of Federal Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour about his younger brother, Senior Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour, turned true on Saturday when he embraced martyrdom in a suicide attack.

Ghulam Ahmad Bilour used to refer to the daring character of Bashir Ahmad Bilour with a blend of pride and caution and his apprehensions turned into reality when he was martyred along with his nine companions in a suicide attack. The tragic incident occurred when he was coming out of the residence of a party leader after attending a meeting.

Bashir Bilour challenged terrorists on every occasion when there was some suicide attack or any other terrorist activity. He was among those few leaders in the government who rushed to the spot and spoke loud and hard against the terrorists. The junior Bilour honoured his words that he would eliminate the terrorists or lay down his life, fighting this menace. 

Senior Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Minister Bashir Bilour survived two suicide attempts in November 2008 and March 2009 wherein over half a dozen people were martyred. On both the occasions, he miraculously remained safe. But the life attempts failed to frighten him and his stance against terrorists became stronger. He often expressed his resolve to fight the enemies of humanity. The man was so daring that when the first attempt on his life was made, he went to the hospital from the spot straight away to inquire after the injured and the next day attended the funeral prayers of those who had lost their lives in the attack. Born in 1943, Bashir Bilour hailed from a famous political family of Peshawar. He was a law graduate and a member of the Peshawar High Court Bar Association. He joined active politics from the platform of Awami National Party in 1970 and served it in various capacities, besides working as its provincial president.

It was also to the credit of Bashir Bilour that he was elected Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Assembly member for five consecutive times from PF-3, a constituency of the Peshawar city.

He was a strong contender for the slot of the chief minister of the province in 2008, but when the party gave decision in favour of Amir Haider Hoti, the scion of Wali Khan's family, he bowed to the party decision and was made senior minister for Local Government and Rural Development. Actually, he was running the affairs of the provincial government in the presence of a relatively young and inexperienced chief minister.

Bilour family enjoys great respect in the party. Particularly, Bashir Bilour’s political acumen and sagacity enabled the family to acquire special position in the party; and the party chief, Asfandyar Wali Khan, relied on him in the party affairs. One of his admirers said that like all great people, Bashir Ahmad Bilour was among those leaders who enjoyed the support of Pashtun nationals. Now after embracing martyrdom, he would rule their hearts.