Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, who passed away a day earlier after a prolonged battle with lung cancer, was laid to rest in his native town of Naal in Balochistan’s Khuzdar district on Friday evening.
Earlier in the day parliamentarians paid glowing tributes to the late National Party chairman.
PML-N MNA Khawaja Asif recalled the principled politics of Mir Hasil Bizenjo, telling the Speaker to obtain the lower house’s consent to postpone the session in light of the politician’s passing.
PML-N’s Senator Mushahidullah Khan said that those people who do not stray from their principles never die but always remain alive in the hearts of the people.
“It is normally very difficult for someone whose father is such a towering personality to carve out his own legacy,” he said, adding that despite that Hasil Bizenjo had managed to make a name for himself in politics.
He said that the Bizenjo family had always spoken the truth and never thought about the price they would have to pay. “They did keep paying a price all their lives for telling the truth,” he said.
“Did you ever see hatred in his eyes for anyone? He was merciful and loving towards everyone,” said Mushahidullah. “Where do we find someone like Hasil?”
PPP leader Sherry Rehman said that Bizenjo lived according to his terms just like he said he would. “People like me, women, were always provided encouragement and support by Bizenjo,” she said. “He told me to remain steadfast and not listen to people who thought I did not belong in mainstream politics,” added the PPP senator.
Rehman said that Bizenjo was like a ray of light at a time of darkness in Pakistani politics.
PTM MNA Moshin Dawar said it was very difficult to fill the void left by Bizenjo’s death. “I think this session [of the National Assembly] should be postponed to honour his memory,” he said, describing it as a “huge loss” for the country.
“The lot of politicians that he belonged to are decreasing day by day in Pakistan,” he said.
PTI MNA Ramesh Kumar said that he had known the late politician for the past 20-22 years as a friend. “Ever since I stepped into politics, I was his friend,” he said. “Even till this day, I remember the things that he talked about with me.”
Kumar paid tribute to Bizenjo, stating that those who did good deeds, their names used to remain alive long after they were gone.
Senator Sarfaraz Bugti said that the entire country was in mourning over such a huge loss and that Balochistan had been deprived of a great leader.
“I was in very close contact with him as home minister. Where he was in favour of dialogue, he was also a believer in establishment of the writ of the state,” added Bugti.
The Balochistan home minister said that Bizenjo continued his great legacy. “The more we pay tribute to him, the less it is,” he added.
A brief overview of the veteran politician’s career
Born in 1958 into a family that played a crucial role in Balochistan’s political landscape, Sen Bizenjo entered politics when he joined the Pakistan National Party (PNP). His father, Mir Ghous Baksh Bizenjo, was once the province’s governor and struggled for the rights of the Baloch people.
The senator, throughout his political career, spoke up for the Baloch people’s rights but categorically opposed armed resistance and militancy, choosing peaceful ways instead.
He also spoke in favour of a quick repatriation of the Afghan refugees, given that the situation in their home country has stabilised considerably.
A respected figure in Pakistani politics, he was elected a Member of National Assembly (MNA) twice in the general elections of 1990 and 1997.
He founded the Balochistan National Democratic Party (BNDP), which eventually merged with the Balochistan National Movement (BNM) in 2003, becoming the National Party (NP).
Interestingly, although his party boycotted the 2008 general elections in protest over the Balochistan situation, he was elected a senator in 2009.
Bizenjo became NP’s president in 2014 after the party came into the national spotlight with the PML-N’s help. His party faced considerable competition from the BAP, ANP, and the PPP.
The senator was again elected on the position in the 2013 general elections, with his party bagging 11 seats in the provincial assembly and one seat in the National Assembly.
He took office as the federal minister for ports and shipping on May 20, 2016, with then-president Mamnoon Hussain administering the oath.
Subsequently, during caretaker prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s tenure, he served as Federal Minister of Maritime Affairs, from August 2017 to May 2018. He did not contest the 2018 general elections.
Back in July 2019, when a no-confidence resolution was submitted against Senate Chairperson Sadiq Sanjrani, nine political parties of the Opposition-led Rahbar Committee had named Bizenjo as the joint candidate for the post.