Rescue workers collect evidence at the suicide attack site in Peshawar on December 22, 2012. – Photo by AFP

PESHAWAR: Senior provincial minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour was among nine people killed Saturday after a Pakistani Taliban bomber blew himself up in a meeting of the Awami National Party (ANP) in Peshawar, the capital of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Police and hospital officials confirmed that at least eight other people , including a police SHO, Bilour’s personal secretary, and ANP workers, were also killed in the blast in the Dhaki Nalbandi area near the busy Qissa Khwani Bazaar.

Bilour, the second most senior member of the provincial Cabinet, was critically wounded with injuries to the chest and stomach and was being treated in the operation theatre, a senior hospital official had earlier confirmed before senior minister passed away.

Bilour had “wounds to the chest and stomach. We tried our best to save his life” but he died during surgery, Arshad Javed, a senior doctor at the hospital told news agency AFP.

According to details, the blast took place when senior leader Bilour along with the provincial leadership and workers of the ANP, which is the largest and the ruling party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, had gathered for a party meeting.

Bomb squad experts said the suicide bomber detonated his explosives when the meeting was at its peak.

“The suicide bomber walked into the house where the meeting was taking place and detonated his vest,” Shafqat Malik, chief of the bomb disposal squad, told   AFP.

Zahidullah, 30, a shopkeeper in the area, said he was standing to Bilour’s rear when the bomber struck.

“The meeting was about to finish when I heard a noise and soon afterwards I saw a blue flame and then the blast hit,” he told AFP.

Over 18 people were also wounded in the blast, hospital officials confirmed.

Speaking to from an undisclosed location, a spokesman for the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Ehsanullah Ehsan, claimed responsibility for the blast and Bilour’s assassination.

“We claim responsibility for killing Bashir Ahmed Bilour. It is revenge for the martyrdom of our elder Sheikh Naseeb Khan,” TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP.

Sheikh Naseeb Khan was a teacher at a madrassa where many Pakistani Taliban members were educated.

The bombing follows last week’s attack on Peshawar airport, when nine people including five attackers died in a car bomb, rocket and gun attack.

Earlier this month, the Pakistani Taliban had attacked an ANP rally in Charsadda scheduled to be addressed by ANP Chief Asfand Yar Wali Khan.

The Taliban spokesman had vowed to intensify attacks against political gatherings of “the secular ANP and MQM”, the biggest political party in Karachi, Pakistan’s commercial capital.

Spokesman Ehsan had said the ANP and MQM would be on their hit-list because of their secular views and their enmity towards the Taliban.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa information minister and a member of the ANP, said both he and Bilour had repeatedly received threats from militants. He condemned the attack and said the government needed to intensify its battle against the Taliban.

“Terrorism has engulfed our whole society,” said Hussain. “They are targeting our bases, our mosques, our bazars, public meetings and our security checkpoints.”

Saturday’s attack by the TTP comes ahead of general elections in Pakistan expected in the spring.

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Comments (111)

December 23, 2012 5:21 pm
You got the bull's eye.
December 23, 2012 5:16 pm
Appeasement of terrorists has never worked. The IK supporters are computer-friendly. I would request them to read about the appeasement of Hitler during the years before WW 2.
December 23, 2012 5:11 pm
December 23, 2012 1:39 pm
Pakistan army has carried out multiple actions against these fanatics, remember that mass exodus of people that resulted from this war in North Pakistan a few years ago?
December 23, 2012 5:01 pm
The ruling parties do not rule Pakistan. The Mullahs are the allies of the real rulers of Pakistan.
December 23, 2012 4:49 pm
Well said.
December 23, 2012 4:42 pm
I agree, except for a minor (but major) issue. I would substitute the Pakistan military by the Pakistani military leadership. Many ordinary soldiers and officers of the Pakistani armed forces have lost their lives in the fight against Taliban, and I will not disrespect their sacrifices.
December 22, 2012 3:19 pm
Very sad day. Army needs to tackle terrorist and whole nation should stand behind army. President should declare emergency and give army freedom to tackle terror problems.
December 22, 2012 3:28 pm
very bad news. he was very brave person . May the soul rest in eternal peace. Ameen Muzzammil Islamabad
December 22, 2012 3:32 pm
what is needed to deal with the terrorists is to encourage the general public to phone in with information. someone somewhere usually knows something, this is the way to hunt down the people who organise the attacks. once they are caught things will calm down.
muzammil ullah khan
December 22, 2012 3:34 pm
Cursed are the people who support the evil Taliban . Right now around my house 5 mosque loud speakers are blaring away all kinds of Naats (based on songs) and producing all kinds of noise . Some are exhorting the faithful to rise and implement Islam etc etc . We are a cursed nation . If we have to rise and foil this terrorism in the name of Islam then we have to come down hard on the Taliban and their supporters who use the pulpit to incite hatred . Close down the Madrasas which are terrorists nurseries . Ban the use of loud speakers use by mosque mullahs .Act like Kamal Ataturk and cleanse the society of those who misinterpret Islam and are busy creating dissension and mayhem . If we dont act now we are doomed and we will deserve that doom.
December 22, 2012 3:34 pm
Isnt Bilour the guy who put a bounty of $100000 on the head of the so called Blasphemer from the USA? One who lives by the sword dies by the sword. RIP.
December 22, 2012 3:38 pm
Bashir Bilour was a brave man. May his soul rest in peace.
M Akmal Khan
December 22, 2012 3:39 pm
Immensely sad on the incident. I dont know when the people of Pakistan would realize that it is our war and it has direct bearing on our country, people and our lives. I desire and am looking for that time when all MOLVIs, unanimously declare the suicidal attacks as HARAAM, and condemned this brutal action of these religious BUTCHERS as in human, with open heart.
December 22, 2012 3:49 pm
This government has no clue how to deal with these terrorists, this is yet another sad day. People need to stand up more against Taliban, they are not muslims.
Cyrus Howell
December 22, 2012 3:50 pm
The government of Pakistan is under attack. If the military does not act now there is a reason.
December 22, 2012 3:52 pm
don't know what is government waiting for ?.Why are actions not taking against terrorist funded and supported by Pakistan,s enemies.Afghan refugees should be thrown out from Pakistan and all borders should be closed with Afghanistan.
danial tariq
December 22, 2012 3:53 pm
prayers for people who got killed... very sad event...
December 22, 2012 3:53 pm
Sad news but ashamed for the upper management. The question is, how these bomb blasters enter the city? The police, army and check posts are every where, so how so called terrorists enter the city? And cross these Check posts?
December 22, 2012 4:01 pm
Public holiday on Monday, please.
December 22, 2012 4:16 pm
Indeed very sad news.Courts are mainly responsible for letting these terrorist free on pretext of insufficient evidience.In Blauchistan Army captured anti state elements and majority was set free.God bless Pakistan.
December 22, 2012 4:18 pm
Civilian people should be asked to leave north and south waziristan and register themselves with the government and then Missiles should be launched on that areas. They have got those modern jets and missiles when will they use it? The ground forces are not proving to be effective. We'll have to realize that those areas are indeed heavens of the terrorists.
Mazhar Ikbal
December 22, 2012 4:19 pm
One more time terrorists hit stability of our country, one more time they are successful in their evil aims. Our politicians must stop these selfish power games and approach towards conclusive end of this war on terrorism without wasting more human lives.
M.R Jadoon
December 22, 2012 4:23 pm
i agree to drastic action against those who are involved in the carnage
December 22, 2012 4:26 pm
Establishment has created this monster and is unable to tackle it now. Pakistani civilians, as always are paying the price.
December 22, 2012 4:31 pm
ya mulk ka buhat bhara nuqsan howa ha
Awais Lodhi
December 22, 2012 4:37 pm
we want Army operation in North Waziristan, go Army kill them in their safe havens rid us of this menace with an iron hand, we are with you, enough is enough, rest in peace mr. bilour.
December 22, 2012 4:41 pm
Pakistan is reaping what it planted years ago hatred and terrorism. Now the monster is eating up its master.
December 22, 2012 4:42 pm
what ever i post , though i am deeply interested in the well bieng of pakistan , majority of the the time my posts get with held at DAWN , some how they dont like my comments may be because i find fault fith govt always ,the present scenario in pakistan calls for some one at top of the govt who can clearlry think and decide about terror and it's affialiates , no two things , mind you , time is running out , this country will be in shambles soon if this problem is not adressed immediately, them immediately handle economy and so others
December 22, 2012 4:45 pm
Army is doing the job, unfortunately their is no writ of the government.
Naseer Mohammdzai
December 22, 2012 4:48 pm
Peshawarite. Will the the leadership of mainstream political parties show some spine and give the much needed political support to the army? Or they will continue with the politics of appeasement and expediency.
Secular Pakistan
December 22, 2012 4:49 pm
When will the leaders of Pakistan realize that these terrorists will one day strike even at them. By looking the other way, while thousands of innocent men women and children are slaughtered, every day by these butchers, is only going to thin theeir door step one day no matter what security you surround yourself with. A nuclear power, cannot control a band of thugs within its borders. No wonder the world has no faith in our country. Very sad and ashamed.
Sikander Khan
December 22, 2012 4:54 pm
Thats what the pakistan awaam wants. I dont know what Zardari's agenda is. It could be you leave us (terrorists) alone and let us do what we want and we leave you alone. Dont you think?
December 22, 2012 4:54 pm
If you do not care about the Taliban Menace, It is going to do this again and again. Very sad news.
December 22, 2012 5:00 pm
Insanity and sadness are two words which come to mind.
December 22, 2012 5:09 pm
Pakistan has become a security state. It is often said that the common man is not safe, but check the casualties over the past half decade and we will find that many brave leaders have been consumed by the scourge of violence. Their is no direct method to counter this menace, we will have to educate ourselves in a way that society is liberated from the evils of individual and social vices. May Allah grant the departed souls a place in the eternal abode.
December 22, 2012 5:15 pm
100% Agree. Pakistan don't need democracy. It needs army's heavy handed approach. Shame on fellow country men not to disclose the hide out of Ehsan ullah ehsan.
Masood Mukhtar
December 22, 2012 5:32 pm
We salute you martyr Bilour, you were against devil forces,tabliban. Shame on Imran khan,Jamat-e-Islami, JUI and all supports of Taliblan, you and your friends are great freedom fighter against devils.
December 22, 2012 5:34 pm
Army and leadership have become impotent to tackle this scrooge of terrorism.
Shahid Masud12
December 22, 2012 5:35 pm
A very very sad incident. I don't understand what the president and the army chief is waiting for. I think they will only feel this pain when they loose one of their own beloved one , just like I did in this sad incident. I along with most of the people of Pakistan are demanding an operation against these terrorists for a long time but fail to understand why the authorities turn a blind eye and deaf ears towards this legitimate demand by the people of Pakistan. I further don't understand why in today's world of modern technology authorities are unable to track Ihsan ullah Ihsan . There are no good Taliban , all of them should be eliminated from the face of earth as soon as possible , any delay in this regards will definitely be regretted latter on.
December 22, 2012 5:42 pm
pakistanis will blame the drones for this :). I believe the carpet bombing is the need of the hour to wipe out the taliban from pak surr zameen.
December 22, 2012 5:49 pm
Government and its allies are responsible for this situation. All of them are interested in filling up their pockets and do not care at all for Pakistan's betterment. It is very sad when you see them justify their corruption on TV shows.
December 22, 2012 5:52 pm
Even better - let the army take over. Martial law has always been better than civilian government in Pakistan. Their is more hope for peace under army that the corrupt civilian government.
Syed Ahmed
December 22, 2012 5:55 pm
Sad in deed. Ghulam Ahmed Bilour played a fast one some time ago and secured himself. Why involve the Army, the menace must be tacled politically.
Masood Mukhtar
December 22, 2012 6:11 pm
I am 100% agreed but be careful with the Arm?. why Army did not take appropriate action so far. Needs to identify the black sheeps within the Army before asking them to involve.
December 22, 2012 6:11 pm
December 22, 2012 6:11 pm
When will we learn ...Is this a country??
December 22, 2012 6:22 pm
Why this bomber missed haji bilour and hit him.It would have been big blessing for rest of railway and its passengers if haji bilour would have been wiped off from scene.
December 22, 2012 6:24 pm
It looks as if EhsanUllah Ehsan is more powerful than our ISI and army! shame
December 22, 2012 6:30 pm
The Pakistan Army is not fighting the Taliban on purpose. They want people to think that the Taliban are strong and hence, not let elections take place. Once that is achieved, the army can take over easily. There is a larger game plan here.
Dr Khan
December 22, 2012 6:31 pm
100% agree with you.
December 22, 2012 6:34 pm
Appeasement of terrorists doesn't work. His brother was the one who declared bounty on US movie director to appease Talibans..
December 22, 2012 6:38 pm
there is not much the police can do to control these people i think the army should get involved immediately .. its sad we have a leader like zardari im sure alot would have been done had it been musharraf ..
Junaid Hashmat
December 22, 2012 6:44 pm
Rehman Uncle will disclose the location of Ehsan-ullah ehsan real soon. Ironically, if they can't tackle them how will they defend Pakistan and give of developed Pakistan. :( Bilour hats off to you man.! May Allah bless your soul and relieve us from these souless monsters. Ameen
December 22, 2012 6:51 pm
Got what he Deserved ,hope the blessed warriors plan better next time.
December 22, 2012 6:52 pm
Time to use missiles against those wild animals.
Lakhkar Khan
December 22, 2012 6:54 pm
Rest in peace and thank you for your leadership. Our deepest condolences to your family, the people of KPK and ANP. Your presence will be immensely missed.
December 22, 2012 6:58 pm
Thanks to mullahs, Pakistan has become failed state. Allaha will not help Pakistan untill we shall get rid of mullahs. Look at India and Bengladesh.
Faizal Khan
December 22, 2012 7:03 pm
Brother u know what happened the last time we had Military ruler , they are more power hungry then civilian govt.
Zaid Hamid
December 22, 2012 7:07 pm
Yes, in fact they are
December 22, 2012 7:19 pm
Why we forget Mosad and CIA before blaming Taliban for all evils?
December 22, 2012 7:21 pm
Sad incident RIP, ANP leadership and workers of Karachi should move to KP to fight the menace of terrorism instead of bringing their fight to Karachi and trying to occupy karachi lands illegally
muzammil ullah khan
December 22, 2012 7:22 pm
Army is not presently ruling the country . It is the parliament who has to tell the Army to go whole hog against these Talibans . Unfortunately our leaders are cowards and cannot or will not unite on this one point agenda of eliminating Taliban. If they do and tell the Army the Army will clean up the mess in FATA and Karachi like they did in Swat.
muzammil ullah khan
December 22, 2012 7:27 pm
IT IS NOT SO . Why cant the politicians unite and say with one voice , " DESTROY TALIBAN". These politicians are talking of negotiations and other nonsense as such the Army cannot take action. Let the Parliament tell the Army unanimously to eliminate them and if then they dont do it then u can blame the Armed Forces . You cant blame them now because their hands are tied. They took action against Lal Masjid and the CJP along with some politicians are after their blood !!
nasir siddique
December 22, 2012 7:31 pm
very normal events in a failed state
December 22, 2012 7:36 pm
the days are not far that we would mourn our independence which we apparently do not deserve at all. Salute to brave martyrs BB, Salman Taseer and Bashir sb. Down with terrorist TTP and their apologists !!
Ejaz A. Khan (USA)
December 22, 2012 7:42 pm
Does any one knows, where is imran khan? perhaps talking to ttp on a hotline trying to convence them to give up terrorism.
December 22, 2012 8:15 pm
Seeing the court's actions for the Lal Masjid, both army and the government are not sure what will happen if they take any action against the terrorists. Also some politicians and media have soft corner for Taliban. All this makes it difficult for the government and specially the armed forces to take a decisive action. Sadly Taliban use the name of Islam for their political agenda. This gives a bad name to Islam. Taliban are the greatest threat to Pakistan and Islam.
December 22, 2012 8:26 pm
Innalillah ewainaelhe rajeoon....
December 22, 2012 8:41 pm
not exactly powerful but they are fighting with those who had lost moral authority to lead or govern this country both army and politicians. Both played their part in selling their people's blood for money. first musharraf then zardari
December 22, 2012 8:42 pm
soon! InshaAllah. Hope is all we have rightnow.
December 22, 2012 8:42 pm
May Bilour Sahib`s soul rest in peace. zardari always talks about eliminating terrorism, but he and all the security forces are completely loosing the war and the Taliban attack whoever they want and whenever they want.The intelligence cannot even arrest Ehsanullah their criminal spokesman who proudly contacts everybody and takes responsibility for the attacks.I wonder how his location is not established or maybe they let him go free on purpose.The government is clueless, they do not know what to do.
December 22, 2012 8:44 pm
It will stop when we become a truly independent country. Right now we are proxies of those who are the root cause of all our problems. Sympathizers of our enemies in government definitley won't improve our conditions.
Aqil Siddiqi
December 22, 2012 8:53 pm
Who ever disagree with AM comments, either belongs to Mullah's or hiding their heads under the sand. Shame on those people. Look, where Pakistan stands now, at the point of no return (All thanks to our selfish and corrupt leaders and Mullahism). (Canada)
Aqil Siddiqi
December 22, 2012 8:56 pm
My friend Paki, if it's upto me, I will kill each and every person, who belongs to a terrorist group. I ask to each and every one...Did we got indepence for all this to happen in Pakistan. We already lost East Pakistan, and now trying our best to finish what ever we have left. Aqil Siddiqi
Aqil Siddiqi
December 22, 2012 9:02 pm
Oh Noooo, Now I know, why Pakistan is what it is "A failed state, a terror country, a place, where there is no safety and no law and order, where dreams die each and every day, where people have given up hope to say the least. Faizal, you should be punished for what you have just said. Aqil Siddiqi (Canada)
December 22, 2012 9:11 pm
Why are Imran Khan's "innoicent taliban" targetting democratically elected leaders? Because it is not Islam they are interested in, but in power which they know they cant get through elections.
Aqil Siddiqi
December 22, 2012 9:13 pm
The whole society is corrupt, forget about ISI and the army. Tell me, who cares about Pakistan these days??????
Muhammad Farooq
December 22, 2012 9:24 pm
What a loss of precious lives every now and then, sometimes in one city another time in another city of Pakistan. What are the chances of peaceful negotiations with Talibans? What does the government plan to control/eliminate terrorism from the region? I have these questions coming to my mind frequently. I am confident those responsible will have to answer for their acts very soon.
December 22, 2012 9:27 pm
My Allah bless his soul and other deceased in this attack.
December 22, 2012 9:38 pm
Please remember musharraf got us all here by his policies.
gul khan
December 22, 2012 9:43 pm
the Taliban are in wazirstan not afghanistan
December 22, 2012 9:49 pm
Army... don't make me laugh.
December 22, 2012 10:29 pm
As a resident of KPK, we lost a leader who could stand up to the evil Taliban. It hurts to see some below with negative connotations regarding the Bilours. Bravo Bilours and God Bless you all. The sick and evil will perish one day...
December 22, 2012 10:35 pm
This is really gross .
December 22, 2012 10:48 pm
ISI and Army created these Frankenstein monsters. Its high time that they clean up the mess that they created in the name of national security. Thanks to the historic mullah-military alliance, this country has gone to the dogs.
December 22, 2012 10:50 pm
Wipe him off through votes, not bullets. That's the humane and civilized way of doing things.
December 22, 2012 10:58 pm
The problem is that Taliban supporters and sympathizers are well entrenched in our political and social landscape, and have been continuously opposing any further operations.
December 22, 2012 10:59 pm
Army created them in the first place, in the name of religion and national security!
December 22, 2012 11:11 pm
It is Banana republic of Pakistan.
December 22, 2012 11:13 pm
Army created these monsters!
December 22, 2012 11:52 pm
In the endless list of obituaries, here is another obituary of a brave man that Pakistan lost at a time when she desperately needs as many as possible. Mr Bashir Balour RIP.
December 23, 2012 12:09 am
Those are coward terrorists ....
Muhammad Arshad
December 23, 2012 12:29 am
Shame on you, whoever you are, for saying whatever you are saying.
December 23, 2012 1:04 am
Sister, this is not the right thing to say about anyone. People are being killed and this is a very sad matter. Wiping off anyone or even thinking others to be wiped off in this way is un-islamic and also un-human, doesn't matter who the person is and what his belief and faith is. Instead we should seek Aafiyat and maghfirat from Allah SWT in abundance for our misdeeds and certainly our own misdeeds have caused all this mess to our country, which was not as bad just a decade back. Why would "anyone" be killed like this? Where is our tolerance towards others? Why do we want to force our opinions, beliefs, and faiths on others? Every religion teaches not to harm others and forgive others and be tolerant towards others. For Muslims this is one of the most essential part of our belief? Where have we missed the boat, and left tolerance and accommodation towards others? If we follow these simple traits, which should have been btw ingrained in us all along, our invitation to others towards Allah SWT and our Prophet (May peace be upon him) will be lot more pleasing to Allah SWT and attractive for others. We got to reflect on our beliefs and cross check on them regularly. Please forgive me if I was not able to clearly state what I was trying to say and please forgive me if I offended you in any way. May Allah SWT forgive us all and help us to understand what is right and what is wrong, and make us amongst those who fullfil their duties according to the sunnah of Prophet (May be upon him).
December 23, 2012 2:09 am
Well you reap what you or in this case your brother sows. Just a while back the Taliban were his best friends because he approved of the bounty on the filmaker of the anti islam short film. To bad the younger brother paid for the sins of the older brother.
Mustafa Razavi
December 23, 2012 2:57 am
As long as we are ruled by a government that has lost legitimacy in the eyes of the people, these handful of brainless illiterates would continue to have the better of all our efforts.
December 23, 2012 2:59 am
May be it's time for Pakistan to swallow it's pride and ask the international community to help.
December 23, 2012 3:02 am
Is there any body to ask the government and security agencies, what is there output of last 10 years?. Are they totally incompitent? There is no law across the country and our security agencies are sleeping. If we analyise equally, no part of the country is safe. No justice at all. Until Justice across the board will be done, pakistan's problems will not be solved. Our problem is rule of law, this is the root cuase
December 23, 2012 3:03 am
Pakistan is not fail state because of mullah, this is because of our politicians. Mullah's are not rulling the country since last 50 years. They never got the rule.
December 23, 2012 3:23 am
Pakistani military will not fight Taliban, because they are Pakistani 'brothers' and it would be 'unpatriotic' to fight them, especially when Taliban are 'sacrificing' for the sake of Islam. Military's duty is only to protect Pakistan from India!
December 23, 2012 3:23 am
We need concesus, if the current Government takes action against them without rest of the Leaders like Nawaz and Imran beating the drum against the war on terror, their would be chaos in Pakistan. It's pity that people like Nawaz/Imran have gained followership yet their ideology and policies are completely insane. We have tried negotiating with Pakistan it didnt work, now it's the time to take action against them, NAWAZ/IMRAN, please realize the facts and speak the truth infront of people instead of trying to gain sympathy of the Right wing voters.
Asif Raja
December 23, 2012 3:31 am
Khan usafzai
December 23, 2012 3:53 am
Allah de ubakhey ....AMeen he was a brave man.
Khan usafzai
December 23, 2012 3:55 am
very true
December 23, 2012 5:18 am
Very very shameful comments
December 23, 2012 6:15 am
200% agree with your Salute and Shame but will you plz provide a solution to this problem.
December 23, 2012 7:00 am
Seal All the entries in & out of KPK. Lets see who repeats the wild act like Peshawar airport and Anp meeting Blast. agree.
M.R Jadoon
December 23, 2012 7:36 am
shame on you and the rest of your family, think before u say some thing, this is day condolence, he was brave muslim leader, a martyr and will a part of pakistan history for ever.
M.R Jadoon
December 23, 2012 7:37 am
yes u are right
December 24, 2012 7:41 am
May Allah Almighty rest his soul in peace. This is, no doubt, a huge loss. What a man he was? A brave, committed and honest to the people. Pakistan is in dire need of heroes like him but unfortunately we are loosing the few we have. I wonder, how long will it take to unite the nation againt the menace of terrorism. No body care about what is happening..........
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