SUKKUR: Life in Karampur, the native town of the late Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, came to a standstill and a shutdown was observed in many other towns of upper Sindh as soon as the news of his death along with his wife on Thursday reached the areas.
Serving as the minister for planning and development in the Sindh government until his death, Bijarani headed his clan in Kandhkot-Kashmore district and had great political influence in upper Sindh.
All markets, shopping centres, bazaars, commercial streets, shops and business and trade establishment remained closed in cities like Kandhkot, Kashmore, Guddu, Bahu Khoso, Garhi Hassan, Thull and Ghouspur, besides Karampur to mourn the death of the Bijaranis.
Since it was not clear in the day whether the couple was shot dead or it was a joint suicide, grief-stricken members of his clan and his political supporters took to the streets of Karampur, Kandhkot, Ghouspur, Tangwani and many other towns and held demonstrations to protest, what they assumed as, the couple’s murder.
Groups of mourners raising slogans against “killers” and police, held sit-ins at different sections of the Indus highway and other main arterial roads of the cities.
At some places, mourners placed burning tyres in the middle of thoroughfares.
At one place, activists including Noor Bukhsh Behalkani, Lal Mohammed Bajkani and Abdul Sami Bijarani lashed out at the provincial government for failing to protect the seasoned politician, who was a veteran parliamentarian holding positions of Senator, MNA, MPA and minister over decades.
They condemned the government’s inefficiency and gross negligence on the part of the Sindh police leading to the tragic incident.The government and its institutions must be held accountable for the lapse in security, they said.
Agencies add: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi expressed his deep grief over the demise of veteran politician Mir Hazar Khan Bijrani and his wife Fariha Razzaq.
According to a statement issued by the PM office in Islamabad, the prime minister said the services of Bijrani for consolidation of democracy would be remembered.National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi, also condoled the death of the Bijaranis in their separate condolence messages to the bereaved family.
They paid homage to the veteran politician and commended the political and social services rendered by him.
They termed his death a national loss and said the country had lost a seasoned and sincere politician.
Sindh Governor Mohammed Zubair, in his condolence message, called for a thorough investigation into the factors leading to the couple’s death.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and several provincial minister visited the late Bijarani’s house to condole the couple’s death with the bereaved family.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Sindh president Nisar Ahmed Khuhro in his condolence message said that Bijarani’s death had deprived the party a sincere, ideological and active leader.
His services would be remembered forever, he added.
Leaders of various other political parties, nationalist groups and social organisations have also expressed their shock and grief over the couple’s death.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, his cabinet colleagues and other elected representatives of his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz issued separate messages over the death of the Bijaranis.
Mr Sharif described the seasoned politician’s death as “shocking and horrifying”.
The PML-N leaders expressed sympathy with the bereaved family.
Published in Dawn, February 2nd, 2018