AT-KABUL: At least 20 people including Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour were killed in a suicide attack in Peshawar on Tuesday night.
Bilour, whose father Bashir Bilour was killed in a suicide attack in 2012, was targeted on Tuesday night at an election gathering in the Yakatoot area. He was contesting the election from the PK-78 constituency.
His death flashed condemnation from other side of the Durand Line, as Afghan leaders strongly condemned his assassination. Former President Hamid Karzai expressed his deepest grievance on Bilour’s assassination, condemning the terrorist act in strongest possible terms.
“I am saddened to hear of the assassination of Haroon Bilour. His father late Bashir Bilour served the people and embraced martyrdom the same way. I strongly condemn this atrocious act of terrorism and extend my profound condolences to his family, ANP leadership and his colleagues,” Karzai twitted.
Moreover, Afghan envoy to Islamabad, Omar Zakhilwal expressed his sadness over Bilour’s assassination, and went to his house to offer condolences to his family. He also attended the funeral ceremony, in which he condoled with ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan.
“I am in Peshawar to express heartfelt condolences and solidarity with bereaved family/friends of ANP leader Haroon Bilour on his tragic demise in a horrific terrorist attack last night that also took lives of 20 of his supporters. May he and all his martyred friends rest in eternal peace!” the envoy twitted.
Briefing newsmen in Peshawar, ANP leader Asfandyar Wali Khan expressed his anger and anguish over the situation and said that he has asked his party workers to remain calm, but that being backed into a corner may be a catalyst for unrest.
The party would observe three days of peaceful mourning, he said, adding the ANP would participate in the polls.
“It will not be a good sign for the country if party workers shun the policy of patience,” he said.
The ANP leader explained that the party is facing a complex situation, where the enemy can identify them but they are unable to identity their enemies.
“We cannot declare every man with a beard to be a member of the Taliban,” he said.
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Wednesday claimed responsibility for the Peshawar suicide blast. The extremist group is highly supporting by Pakistan’s Intelligence Agency (ISI), and has been accounted for several deadly attacks against those political groups that are against ISI, and Pakistan’s army wrong polices.
In 2012, TTP, to be clearer, Pakistan’s spy agency also killed his father (Bashir Ahmed Bilour) in disguise of TTP suicide bombers in party meeting in Peshawar.
The following year in 2013, TTP/ISI had claimed responsibility for an attack at an ANP rally in again in Peshawar, in which 15 people were killed.