Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ghulam Ahmad Bilour

Known as Haji Sahib in Peshawar, Ghulam Ahmad Bilour hails from Bajaur Agency in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). His forefathers migrated to Peshawar long ago and his father was a successful businessman of the city, as well as an admirer of Bacha Khan. Born on 25th December 1939, Bilour got his early education from the Khudad Model School and Islamia School Peshawar. He did his intermediate from Edwards College and got married soon afterwards. He Graduated from Jamshore University.

His tendency towards politics from the very early age reveals that he is a democratic person. he participated in election campaign of Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah when she was contesting for the seat of President as a candidate of the Combined Opposition Party against Ayub Khan in 1965. He, however, joined active politics from the platform of the National Awami Party (NAP) in the 1970s and ever since has remained with the nationalist party.

Only Ajmal Khattak and Afzal Khan Lala both no more in active politics have been associated with the (NAP) for longer period than Ghulam Ahmad Bilour. Haji Sahib is widely respected for not compromising on principles and remaining loyal to the party. He considers securing the rights of the people of the province as his greatest achievement; and losing his only son, Shabbir Ahmed Bilour during the 1997 elections as his greatest loss. Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour is the real personality of principles and never compromise on the set forth principles of the party which are the actual guarantor of protection of rights of the people in general and the people of NWFP in particular.

Ghulam Ahmad Bilour was elected Senator in 1975 for six years. Ghulam Ahmad Bilour was first elected to the National Assembly in the 1988 by-elections. In the 1990 elections, he again contested for the National Assembly and succeeded against the late Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and assigned him as Federal Minister for Railways. Bilour recollects that the people of his constituency did not let him down in that crucial contest, which was perhaps the toughest of his long political career. In the 1993 elections, he lost to Zafar Ali Shah but regained the National Assembly seat in the 1997 elections. Bilour did not contest the 2002 elections. He was again elected to the National Assembly in the recent general elections, and assigned him Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and currently the Federal Minister for Railways.

Haji Sahib always opposed Martial Law in the country. He never did negotiation with undemocratic powers. This was the reason that he and his party boycotted 1985 General Elections.

He is very devoted to ANP and to the people of his Province. He was invited by many political parties as well as Martial Law Administrators to join their alien but he rejected all the proposals with hard attitude saying that:-

“I am not here rule or to get Executive Seat of the party. I am here to serve people and I am Pukhtoon will never leave this door until death”.


In 1973, just after three years of joining NAP Haji Sahib was arrested and spent almost three months behind the Cell and again arrested this time he spent three monthsbehind the cell. In1974 he was arrested again. This time he spent almost 4 months in jail.

In 1975 the PPP Govt arrested all the four brothers including Haji Sahib. A famous shopping centre of Bilour Family has been destroyed. The Bilour House was evacuated and Bilour Family has been forced to be unsheltered. After five months he was released. In 1976 Haji Bilour was arrested in Hyderabad conspiracy case and sent to the Hyderabad Sindh Jail and spent two years in Jail alongwith Khan Abdul Wali Khan, Ghous Bux Bazenjo, Attaulah Mengal, Afzal Khan Lala, Arbab Sikandar Khan Khalil and other senior leaders of National Awami Party.

In 1982 he spent three months in Haripur Jail. In 1983 same injustice was repeated and he and his brother Bashir Bilour arrested time and spent one year behind the bare.


Haji Sahib has a strong knowledge of Kalabagh Project. His view is very clear about Kalabagh. He has complain from pathan youth. He always uses to say that pattan youth does not know about Kalabagh. They should get all the knowledge regarding to this project and should come forward to protest against it. Whenever you pay a visit to his office you will come to know that how tremendously he explains the whole project. In 1991 when he was appointed Federal Minister for Railways. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called a meeting on Kalabagh. Haji Sahib said in meeting:-

“Peshawar valley is surrounded by Hills from three sides. There is only one way out for water if you build a dam over that region then the water level will raise 24 feet above than the plan area of NWFP. As a result this province will become a lake where people will come to catch fished”.

Once in London Shah Mehmood Qasori fall in a debate with Haji Sahib on Kalabgh when Haji Sahib cleared technical points to him, he was lets assign four engineers two from our side and two from your side, whatever they decided that will be acceptable to all. Haji Sahib replied “You assign engineers I will debate from my side because I know each and every thing about Kalabagh.


Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour is a unique personality. He is MNA and a Federal Minister but he never shows rude or proud attitude to anyone. There are many aspects of his personality. He is very kind hearted, friendly, source of knowledge very patient wherever you pay a visit to his office you will find that he stands with every individual enters to his office embraces him, listens to every individual very ;patiently and help him out. His simplicity and dressing reveals that he is a religious man. He never misses prayer.

It’s true that Mohtarama Benazir Bhutto gave an incredible sacrifice for democracy by Haji Sahib Sacrifice is not less by any mean, he lost his only son Shabbir Ahmad Bilour, in politics. Even know when he listens the word SHABBIR he stops talking and goes back in those memories where his son was with him


These were the efforts of NAP that NWFP has been renamed by KHYBER
PUKHTOONKKHWA. It made possible due to struggles of Bacha Khan and politcle
vision of Asfandiyar Wali

NWFP is a unique place in the world which has no specific name, “North West Frontier Province” is not a name it’s a location. There is very clear and common rule in the world of declaring name to a territory “the name must indicate the people who are in majority in that territory”.

NAP is the only party which came forward and rose the issue to rename NWFP by Pukhtoonkhwa. Tald shows and stuggles of haji sab reveaqls his stand on this issue. In a tald show these were his words:

“There were five brothers living in Pakistan Panjabi, Balochi, Sindhi, Pattan and Bangali. Bangalies removed their name from the map of Pakistan and we let them to do so. We want to write our name on the map of Pakistan and you are not permitting us”.

These were the efforts of NAP that Prisident Asif Ali Zardari called NWFP as PUKHTOONKHWA.
Haji sab visted Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Chaudhary Pervez Elahi and many other leaders to resolve this issue. Unfortunately many Pattan leaders don’t want to rename NWFP by PUKHTOONKHWA.

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