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July 12, 2018

Tears in heaven


July 12, 2018

Tuesday (July 10) brought a great deal of sadness for Pakistanis when a suicide attack in the Yakatoot area of Peshawar killed ANP-candidate Haroon Bilour. His father, Bashir Bilour, also died in 2012 in a suicide attack. This indicates that the elements that are adamant to tamper with the country’s peace still exist and strike whoever they want to.

This also hints at the fact that a lot more needs to be done to improve the security situation in the country. The Peshawar blast should serve as an eye-opener for the government which must take remedial measures before it is too late. Meanwhile, foolproof security should be provided to citizens contesting elections.

Zahid Ali Khan



It was shocking to hear about the attack on the second generation of a family in just six years. Despite their tall claims, the higher authorities have failed to safeguard people’s lives in Pakistan. The attack on Haroon Bilour, which took his life along with other party voters and supporters, is a question mark on the country’s security performance. It also casts doubts on the efforts taken by the Election Commission and the interim government to ensure that the 2018 elections are conducted in a safe environment.

On the one hand, state institutions are allowing members of banned organisations to contest elections and giving foolproof security to notorious fundamentalists and on the other, the parties with liberal and peaceful ideologies are left with security loopholes. The Bilour family has served Pakistan politically with Bacha Khan’s ideology, which promoted peace, tolerance and liberalism. The family’s services to Pakistan, especially to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cannot be erased from history. It is important that the state realises that safeguarding lives of citizens is its top priority.

Naresh Kumar Khatri

Abu Dhabi


The Peshawar blast is highly condemnable. As always innocent civilians have been injured and martyred, but no one knows why. The occurrence of such a horrific incident just 13 days before the 2018 election can sabotage the election process. It was the responsibility of the ECP to provide security to all candidates who were taking part in Election 2018. Amidst orders by the Supreme Court to remove security, the chief election commissioner (CEC) should have taken a stand on the issue based on ground realities.

If all government institutions abide by their constitutionally-assigned roles, we can hope to see Pakistan emerge as a stable country. Where should we turn to for justice? The absence of both trust and unity among parliamentarians paves the way for third party forces to intervene in state matters. In the end, only civilians suffer. It is hoped that the CEC will consider this incident a wakeup call and provide immediate security to all candidates no matter what party they belong to. Let’s stay united for a stronger Pakistan.

Sheeba Ajmal


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