PESHAWAR: After 50-year of close association with Awami National Party, Peshawar city’s political family of Bilours for the first time showed discontent with the party decisions openly when its aspiring political heir Danyal Bilour resigned a day before the provincial intra-party elections.

Danyal Bilour alleged that he was pressurised by the top-notch leaders of the party to refrain from contesting for a position in the intra-party polls.

“The party claimed to hold free and fair intra-party elections. I wanted to contest as I held provincial information secretary position dear since my late father Haroon Bilour once held it. Instead I was asked not to contest and as a protest I resigned from the party,” he told journalists at Bilour House here on Wednesday right after visit of some ANP leaders to mediate and resolve the issue with the Bilours.

Danyal Bilour quits party over pressure for not contesting internal polls

Sources close to senior Bilour (Ghulam Ahmed Bilour) said that hectic efforts were underway to pacify the Bilours.

The outgoing provincial president of ANP, Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, is in contact with Bilours as he has been tasked to resolve the issue. Ghulam Ahmed Bilour is expected to speak on the issue three days after the intra-party elections.

Arbab Tahir, an ANP leader, told journalists that the issue would be resolved within three days with the help of senior Bilour.

“It was not less than dishonour to a family, which laid so many sacrifices for the party. I lost my grandfather, then my father and so many party workers. I wanted to represent them. But party pushed me away and I resigned. It is heart breaking,” said Danyal Bilour.

He had been presented ANP’s symbolic red cap by party’s chief Asfandyar Wali Khan in an embrace right after Haroon Bilour got hit in a terrorist attack right before general elections on 10 July, 2018.

Sources said that ANP senior leader Mian iftikhar Hussain and Aimal Wali Khan visited Bilour House a day ago and asked Danyal Bilour not to contest intra-party elections.

“It is my decision to resign from the party. My mother Samar Bilour and Ghulam Ahmed Bilour may decide whatever they want but I feel Bilour family, especially Bashir Bilour and his son Haroon Bilour, were being ignored. I wanted to step in to fill the position my father once held but the party did not give us respect and it broke my heart,” said Danyal Bilour.

He said that it was hardly a year that he lost his father and Ghulam Ahmed Bilour was old. He lost his grandfather Bashri Bilour in a suicide attack earlier. It looked like there was no place for Bilour family in ANP.

“ANP claimed that intra-party elections were going to be free and fair then why I was asked not to contest. Why Bilour family is being ignored,” questioned Danyal Bilour.

He added that he had lost heart after his father was killed but only came forward to support and lead party workers.

The election commissioner for the intra-party elections and general secretary of ANP were contacted for their views but they did not respond.

Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2019