Peshawarites mourn as blast death toll rises to 22


Barrister Haroon laid to rest amid touching scenes

Tariq Saeed


As the death toll of the bloody suicide explosion in Peshawar climbed to 22 with over sixty receiving serious wounds, Barrister Haroon Bilour was laid to rest amid tight security and touching scenes Wednesday after noon.
A suicide blast ripping through a corner meeting of Awami National Party in the interior city Tuesday night, it may be recalled had played havoc in the area leaving scores of people seriously wounded and killed. Those martyred in the first blast or the major incident of violence ahead of the elections 2018 include a senior ANP leader and a party candidate for the PK-78 Peshawar Haroon Bilour who belonged to the famous political of the provincial metropolis.
A suicide bomber carrying 8 kg of TNI explosive material blew himself up in the ANP gathering welcoming new entrants in the party closed to Barrister Haroon Bilour as the fire work was in the progress.
The defunct Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has reportedly claimed responsibility for the Tuesday attack on ANP gathering and identified the bomber as Abdul Karim. The terror group according to reports termed attack as revenge against the steps taken by the previous provincial government led by the ANP.
Barrister Haroon Bilour was laid to rest afternoon in Wazirbagh graveyard amid extremely tight security and touching scenes. His last rituals were attended and mourned by thousands of people including top politicians, bureaucrats, parliamentarians, ANP president and senior leaders besides party leaders and supporters.
As elaborate security arrangements were made for the funeral procession of the slain leader, over 500 police personnel were deputed for the funeral’s security while the bomb disposal squad had cleared the route from Bilour House to the funeral ground.
Talking to newsmen after the funeral prayers, the ANP Chief Asfandyar Wali Khan strongly condemned the terror acts against the ANP that has lost over 250 people including senior ANP leaders and workers in various bomb blasts during the last decade. The ANP chief dared the terrorists to come openly if they have the courage and ANP would give them befitting response.
The top leader of Awami National Party and Senior Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bashir Ahmad Bilour, it may be recalled had embraced Shahadat along with eight others when a suicide bomber blew himself up closed to him in a congested Qissa Khawani bazaar on December 22, 2012. While Personal Secretary to senior minister and SHO Police Station Kabuli were among the dead, twenty other people had sustained serious injuries in the blast that had sent a wave of shock and sorrow all over the country.
While condemnation against the brutal killing of Haroon Bilour and others in a bomb blast continued pouring in, the Senate has also strongly condemned the killing of Haroon Bilour and other ANP workers in a suicide attack in Peshawar.

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