QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo has said that because of concrete steps taken by the government, insurgency is on the wane in the province as militants have surrendered their weapons and joined the mainstream to play their role in the development of the country.

Talking to a delegation of British journalists, who called on him on Thursday, the chief minister said that a few elements sitting abroad had misguided the youth of Balochistan, but now they (the youth) had understood the designs of those people and foiled their conspiracies by joining mainstream politics.

The chief minister, however, said that at present, the province was facing religious terrorism and both federal and provincial governments were taking steps to end this scourge.

Mr Bizenjo denied presence of alleged safe havens of Taliban and other terrorist groups in any area of the country and said that Pakistan was fighting the ‘war on terror’ like its own war.

“Despite having meagre resources we are fighting the war on terror and will continue our efforts till the elimination of all terrorists,” the chief minister pledged.

He also denied presence of the militant Islamic State group in Balochistan, saying Pakistan was playing the role of a frontline state in the ‘war on terror’ and had rendered great sacrifices and suffered huge financial and infrastructural losses in the process.

He said although the people of Pakistan were disappointed with the statement of US President Donald Trump, Pakistan would continue its efforts against extremism and terrorism.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2018

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