The father of a civil service official who died in mysterious circumstances has recalled his last conversation with the son.
The sudden death of a young Bilal Pasha, the chief executive officer of Military Cantonment Bannu, shocked everyone from his close friends to social media users in the country.
His body was found in his room in Bannu on Monday. There were conflicting reports suggesting he either died by suicide or was murdered. Some people claimed he had died of a cardiac arrest.
Bannu District Police Officer Iftikhar Shah told BBC Urdu that the death appears to be a case of suicide. The post-mortem has been completed but the medical report is still pending, he said.
In Punjab’s Abdul Hakim, Bilal Pasha’s hometown, funeral prayers were held early on Tuesday.
Bilal Pasha’s father Ahmed Yaar spoke to BBC Urdu and shared the details of his last phone conversation with Bilal.
Ahmed Yaar, a day labourer in Abdul Hakim village in Khanewal district, is head of the family.
“Eight to ten days ago, one day Bilal was saying on the phone that Baba, my heart wants to leave the job and come home or take a few days off so that I can sleep wholeheartedly,” Ahmed Yaar recalled.
Bilal told his father that he had been posted to Rawalpindi and would apply for a leave once he moved to his new position.
Ahmad Yaar said he had five sons and Bilal was the youngest. Ahmad Yaar’s brother Bashir Ahmed did not have children, so he adopted his nephew Bilal, and being in a joint family, Bilal was raised by both families together.
Ahmad Yaar said, “I got a call from Bilal at the time of Fajr prayer on Sunday, I was surprised because he never called at that hour. I did not know why he called. ’
“Later, Bilal talked to his friend and said that he was going to Islamabad… After that, when I called Bilal, he did not pick up the phone. I thought that he might have fallen asleep.”
“On Monday morning, I called one of Bilal’s friends who went into the room and found that the door was locked from the inside.
“The friend told me that Bilal was found dead when they broke open the door and entered. We don’t know what has happened to us. He did not say anything that indicated any problem.”
According to his friend, Bilal Pasha got married two to three years ago but after some time the couple got separated.
Assistant Commissioner Bannu Syed Abrar Ali Shah, who is said to be a close friend of Bilal, said when he could not contact Bilal Pasha on the phone, he thought of going to his office and meeting him there.
“When I came to his office, I found out that he hadn’t even come there. So I went to his residence. On reaching there, I asked the servants about Bilal and they said that they had knocked on his door many times but there was no response from inside.”
Abrar says, “We tried to break open the door, and despite trying several times, the door did not yield. So we reached the room through the store behind the room. Bilal was found dead.”
Responding to a question, Abrar said Bilal had never said anything to him that suggested he was suffering from mental stress. “Not at all. I never thought so. I don’t understand how it happened. He was talking about going to Rawalpindi, and on Monday he had to leave for Rawalpindi after handing over the charge.”
In 2019, Bilal finished 85th in the CSS examination and was posted in the Department of Military Lands and Cantonments.
Before clearing the CSS exam, he had done various government jobs in grade 17 and, according to him, was attracted to a government job at the behest of his father.
Bilal’s success story resonated across social media back then.