Over 300 anti-state militants surrender arms in Balochistan

Published December 9, 2017
A suspected militant surrenders before Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri.— DawnNews
A suspected militant surrenders before Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri.— DawnNews

As part of the ongoing political reconciliation in Balochistan, more than 300 suspected militants laid down arms before the government and security forces on Saturday.

The militants, who reportedly belonged to various banned groups, surrendered before Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa during a ceremony held at the Balochistan Assembly hall.

Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti and other high-level officials were also present on the occasion.

The suspected militants, including 17 commanders, vowed to work for the peace and development of the country while laying down arms.

Waving Pakistani flags during the ceremony, the men said they had been misled by some elements to serve their personal agendas at the cost of poor people.

Appreciating their overtures for peace, Chief Minister Zehri said the reconciliation process will continue despite all odds.

"We welcome you all," he told the crowd.

Zehri said the country has a "big heart" to accept those whose hands were coloured with the blood of innocent people.

"Now it is your turn to struggle for stability and development of the country," he said.

The fighters who gave up their weapons were involved in subversive activities for more than a decade in various parts of Balochistan, security officials who declined to be named told DawnNews.

"Some elements were threatening us not to surrender," Dur Muhammad, a former militant from Naseerabad said. Another militant commander from Harnai also shared the same information.

The Balochistan reconciliation process was launched by former chief minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch a few years ago. So far, 1800 Ferraris have surrendered since the process was initiated, Balochistan government spokesperson Anwarul Haq Kakar told DawnNews.

The largest province of the country by area, Balochistan is home to a low-level insurgency by ethnic Baloch separatists. Militants linked to domestic and foreign terrorist groups also operate in the region.

The province shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran.

Opinion

Editorial

Security lapses
Updated 13 Apr, 2024

Security lapses

Ensuring the safety of foreign citizens is paramount, not just for diplomatic relations but for our economic future.
An eventful season
13 Apr, 2024

An eventful season

THE Senate chairman and deputy chairman were elected unopposed, and 41 new senators were sworn in on Tuesday,...
Living rough
13 Apr, 2024

Living rough

WE either don’t see them or don’t want to see them — not even when they are actively trying to get our...
Saudi investment
Updated 10 Apr, 2024

Saudi investment

The state has to address barriers that stand in the way of attracting foreign investment, and create a pro-business environment.
Charity for change
Updated 11 Apr, 2024

Charity for change

PAKISTANIS are large-hearted people who empty their pockets at the slightest hint of another’s need. The Stanford...