A day after suggesting that last week’s suicide blast targeting an Awami National Park (ANP) corner meeting was an ‘inside job’ and not Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) doing, party leader Ghulam Ahmed Bilour has distanced himself from those remarks, DawnNewsTV reported.
Ghulam’s nephew Haroon Bilour was among the 20 dead when a suicide bomber blew himself up at an ANP political event held in Peshawar on July 20 — an attack whose responsibility was instantly claimed by the TTP.
But Ghulam, in a recent chat with a private TV channel reporter, had contested the TTP’s claim and instead implied that “our own people who have benefited from my nephew’s murder” may have been behind the deadly attack.
The 78-year-old Bilour claimed that he had evidence suggesting that Taliban were not involved in the attack. But instead of giving reasons or proof on the basis of which he gave the statement, he just recited some verses suggesting that it was an inside job — a treacherous murder committed by those who were immediate beneficiaries of the killing.
Bilour had insisted that the tragic incident did not benefit Taliban, saying that their opponents were wrong to think that they (the Bilours and their political party) would be scared by the attack. “I and my party will take part in elections and won’t let the wishes of our opponents be fulfilled.”
However, Ghulam on Monday went back on his words, claiming to have never said that “his own people are involved in the killing”.
Ghulam clarified that he had merely said that the bombing was orchestrated by “those who benefited from the attack”, although he did not elaborate on who he thought the direct beneficiaries of his nephew’s death are.
The former railways minister added that he has the full support of his party.
Ghulam appeared at a loss as to why the ANP was targeted by the militants. “It’s beyond understanding why we are being targeted,” he said.
“We strongly condemn these terror attacks,” he added.
In April, more than 12,600 police personnel deputed for the security of unauthorised persons across the country were withdrawn on Supreme Court’s orders. Ghulam today said that Haroon’s security detail was also withdrawn as part of that blanket withdrawal.
“Haroon Bilour was facing security threats,” he said. “The government withdrew security from him on the directives of the chief justice.”