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

Interest rate cut
Updated 11 Jun, 2024

Interest rate cut

The decision underscores SBP’s confidence that economic stability is gaining traction.
Rampant zealotry
11 Jun, 2024

Rampant zealotry

Decades of myopic policies pursued by the state have further aided the radicalisation of significant portions of the population.
Cricket breakdown
11 Jun, 2024

Cricket breakdown

THERE was a feeling that Pakistan had finally turned the corner in their T20 World Cup campaign. Sadly, it was only ...
Approaching budget
Updated 10 Jun, 2024

Approaching budget

Many are sceptical of the premier and finmin of translating their words into well-defined actions in the budget. Will they prove their doubters wrong?
A fresh start?
10 Jun, 2024

A fresh start?

After a decade of acrimony and mistrust, it is natural to tread carefully. But the ball is in India’s court. Backchannel and Track II diplomacy can be revived.
Hidden cams
10 Jun, 2024

Hidden cams

THE Digital Rights Foundation has drawn attention to a disturbing trend that seems to only be ballooning instead of...