MARDAN, Feb 2: ANP Senator Ilyas Ahmad Bilour on Saturday reiterated his government’s commitment to restore peace and protect public life and property in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“We have been targeted by militants due to our struggle for protecting of the rights of Pakhtuns and restoration of peace,” Mr Ilyas said at a condolence reference organised by Mardan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) here to pay homage to his slain brother and senior provincial minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour.

The ANP senator said his slain brother was a brave Pakhtun leader, who never bowed to militants and that was why he was assassinated.

He said Bashir Bilour had held a two and half hours long one-on-one meeting with Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah during the Swat crisis without caring for his life only for the sake of restoration of peace on Pakhtun soil.

He said Bashir Bilour was quick to reach the sites targeted by militants to monitor rescue and relief operations.

Mr Ilyas said militants had assassinated his brother but his soul would follow them until they agreed to hold dialogue with the government for peace. He said one day, militants would admit their mistake of killing his brother.

On the occasion, MNA Himayatullah Mayar said a great leader like Bashir Bilour was born after thousand years.

He said the killing of Bashir Bilour was no less than a big national tragedy.

The MNA said Bashir Bilour followed the non-violence philosophy of great Pakhtun leaders Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Abdul Wali Khan in letter and spirit by suggesting conflict resolution by dialogue.

On the occasion, MPA Ahmad Khan Bahadar, former MNA Haji Naseemur Rehman and former nazim of Chak Hoti Union Council Abdul Aziz Khan, too, paid tribute to Bashir Bilour for laying down life for the rights of Pakhtuns.

A large number of ANP workers attended the function.—Correspondent

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