QUETTA: Under the political reconciliation scheme launched in Balochistan, 1025 militants, belonging to various proscribed outfits, have surrendered before the provincial government during the past year.

Among the surrendered militants are a dozen key militant commanders, who have laid down their arms before provincial officials, said Secretary Home and Tribal Affairs, Akbar Hussain Durrani on Tuesday.

“A total of 2622 intelligence based operations (IBOs) were carried out during the last year, during which 12,234 criminals and miscreants were arrested,” said Durrani, referring to the operations carried out after the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP).

The home secretary added that 323 criminals and miscreants were killed in skirmishes with security forces, with 72 other injured in the gunfights.

“Security forces also recovered huge caches of arms and ammunition during these operations against the criminals and miscreants in Quetta, Chaman, Khuzdar, Dera Bugti and other troubled parts of Balochistan,” elaborated Durrani.

Durrani, referring to the militants who have surrendered voluntarily, said, “Those who surrendered under the reconciliation police were paid a sum of Rs0.5 million.”

The payment is being disbursed in instalments, added the home and tribal affairs secretary.

Balochistan has been experiencing a sharp rise in violence and targeted killings have become unusually common despite government's claims of tight security in the province. The largest province of the country by area, is home to a low-level insurgency by ethnic Baloch separatists. Al Qaeda-linked militants also operate in the region.

The province shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran.