Meet Samar Haroon Bilour, The First Woman To Win A General Seat In Peshawar
Samar Haroon Bilour has become the first woman to win a general seat in Peshawar, the capital city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
She entered politics following her slain husband’s footsteps and to carry the family legacy. Samar was not ready to enter this chapter of her life, but due to the circumstances, she was forced into it. Her husband, Haroon Bilour was killed in a suicide blast at an election rally in Peshawar, two weeks before the 2018 general elections.
“I was not ready to enter into politics when Haroon was assassinated. The whole family was shattered and my both sons pushed me to take part in elections,” Samar said.
Haroon’s father, Bashir Ahmad Bilour, was a lawmaker. The former provincial manager also passed away in a suicide bomb during an ANP meeting six years ago.
The 2018 elections were Samar’s first formal foray into politics but state affairs aren’t new territory for her.
“Being the eldest daughter of a politician, I certainly had an interest in politics and it was in my blood”, she added, while talking about her father Irfanullah Marwat, who served as a member of the Sindh assembly multiple times.
Despite her political background, Samar worked hard to win the elections and strengthen her political stature.
“I am working passionately, very hard, I don’t want my time to pass at the assembly’s hall or in seminars”, Samar said.
Being the first elected lawmaker from Peshawar, Samar had to work to gain the trust of the people.
“This is a male-dominated setup, I have to deal with men every day. Now I have settled myself in this culture. People approach me with their problems and discuss them with me. My own life and happiness suffered a lot, but this is my role destined by God,” she said.
A college teacher from Peshawar Sumbal Ahmad said that Samar means a lot to female representation in the province, as they have a lawmaker to reach out to now.