Influential political families dominating trade bodies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

PESHAWAR (October 05 2010): Influential political families are dominating the trade bodies politics of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) as coveted posts of three important chambers of KP, included Sarhad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) and Tribal Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry (TACCI) and Mardan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI) have been occupied by the kin of the influential businessmen.The newly elected president of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) is the son of minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour and nephew of Senator Ilyas Ahmad Bilour and grandson of the founding president of the chamber, Gul Mohammad Khan. For the last one decade, Ilyas Bilour headed Businessmen Forum and tightened grip on the affairs of the prime trade body of the province. The group is sweeping the elections each year and for last 8 years not a single member of the opponent groups has succeeded in getting berth on the executive committee of the chamber.
Ghazanfar Bilour, son of the leader of Businessman Forum had already served the chamber as president in 2005-06, which even resulted in the breaking away of an influential group of industrialists. The breaking up of the group resulted in the hardly contested elections for the chamber for the year 2006-07. However, later rapprochement was made and the group was brought back into the fold of the forum. Presently, all opposition groups in Sarhad Chamber have become redundant and the ruling group is facing no challenge.The second chamber, whose offices are stationed in the same provincial capital, is Tribal Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry (TACCI). The chamber was established in 2004 and Senator Ghulam Ali was elected its founding president. Ghulam Ali is arch political foe of the Bilour family not only in the local politics but also in the affairs of the business community. Ghulam Ali had defeated Haroon Bilour, another kin of the Bilour family, in the contest for the coveted slot of the City District Nazim, Peshawar, in the local bodies’ poll in 2005.
This year, Ghulam Ali had got elected his son as president of the Tribal Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry (TACCI). The new president of TACCI, Fayyaz Ali, is also son-in-law of JUI-chief Fazl-ur-Rehman. The third important trade body is Mardan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI), whose founding president was a former ANP member of the National Assembly, Nasim-ur-Rehman – Brecorder