Ghulam Ahmad Bilour
|Ghulam Ahmad Bilour
25 December 1939 |
|Political party||Awami National Party|
|Relations||Bashir Ahmad Bilour|
Ghulam Ahmad Bilour (born 25 December 1939) is a Pakistani politician and parliamentarian. He was former senior vice President in the Awami National Party and former Federal Railways Minister in Pakistan.
Early life and education
Popularly known as Haji Sahab, Bilour obtained his education from Khudad Model School, Islamia School Peshawar, and then Edwards College. Bilour comes from a well-known and wealthy business family.
Bilour participated in the 1965 election campaign of Fatima Jinnah against Ayub Khan, and joined ANP in the 1970s. Bilour has participated in all the elections since 1988, except for the 2002 polls. His home constituency is in Peshawar and is notorious for being unpredictable. In 1988, he lost the seat to Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao (although he later won it in a by-election when Sherpao vacated it in his bid for chief ministership), won it in 1990 against Benazir Bhutto, lost in 1993 to PPP’s Zafar Ali Shah and won again in 1997. He did not contest in 2002 but once again won from NA-1 (Peshawar – I) in 2008.
Bilour has served time in jails on several occasions during his political career.
In 1997, the Bilour's only son was killed at a polling station during a by-election, after Bilour had a quarrel with PPP leader and former minister Syed Qammar Abbas. In 2007, when Abbas was killed by unidentified gunmen, four members of the Bilour family, including Bilour, were nominated in the murder case. They all denied the charge.
In 2008, after being elected from NA-1, Bilour was appointed federal minister for railways. During his time as Railway minister, Railways of Pakistan saw one of its darkest period where he and his family invested heavily in Road transport like Trucks and buses. Directly affecting Railways and destroying them systematically. He has faced severe criticism in this regard, as he steered the institution during what many have called its worst ever financial crisis, amidst widespread corruption allegations. Bilour was also implicated in the corruption scandal.
Bilour has been named as an accused in a multi-billion scrap scandal, currently being investigated by the Punjab chapter of National Accountability Bureau (NAB). On the orders of the Supreme Court, NAB initiated investigations into the alleged disposal, in clear violations of prescribed rules, of 39,000 metric tons of Railway scrap valued at more than Rs300 million.
Calling for Assassination
In February 2015, being a Lawmaker and,
Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly [. . .], [Bilour] announced a $200,000 bounty for the [head of the] owner of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo that published blasphemous caricatures [and] $100,000 compensation for the families of those [who] killed [11 people] during the deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris last month.
Already on 22 September 2012, it was reported that Bilour had offered a $100,000 USD reward for the assassination of the maker of an anti-Islam film, the Innocence of Muslims. He was quoted saying he would pay the reward for the "sacred duty" out of his own pocket, and that members of the Taliban and al-Qaeda would be eligible for the reward. He was quoted in The Times as saying, "I also announce that if the Government hands this person over to me, my heart says I will finish him with my own hands and then they can hang me".
His party, the Awami National Party, told the BBC that "this was a personal statement, not party policy, but added that innnt would not be taking any action against him." The Pakistani Prime Minister said the Pakistani government rejected the Minister's statements. His statements were condemned by the United States government.
- "Bilour's publicity stunt: A reward for the heirs of Charlie Hebdo attackers". www.dawn.com. 3 February 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
- Personifying the art of politics The NEWS on 5 November 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2008
- "Embezzlement: Bilour named in multi-billion railways scrap scandal - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
- The Express Tribune, February 3, 2015
- "Anti-Islam film: Pakistan minister offers bounty"
- $100,000 bounty on Prophet film-maker, Francis Elliott and Aoun Sahl, The Times, p. 28, 24 September 2012
- "Anti-Islam film: Pakistan minister's bounty condemned". BBC. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- "Pakistan condemns railways minister's bounty on anti-Islam filmmaker". GlobalPost. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- "Anti-Islam film maker killing: US slams Pak minister for $100k bounty". Indian Express. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- Shahzad, Asif (26 September 2012). "Pakistan Taliban: 'Amnesty' for bounty minister". Yahoo! News. AP. Retrieved 26 September 2012.