QUETTA, Aug 28: Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior Affairs Rehman Malik has announced that names of all political leaders of Balochistan have been removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) and 35 checkpoints of the Frontier Corps in the province are being abolished.

Addressing a press conference, along with Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani and provincial ministers at the end of a two-day visit to Quetta, he said the steps were being taken as part of the government’s reconciliation process.

“The name of Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri’s son Nawabzada Gazin Marri has been removed from the ECL and a new passport has been issued to him,” the adviser said.Mr Malik said he had met Gazin Marri in Dubai on the directives of Pakistan People’s Party’s co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and he was likely to return to the country soon.

He said 35 of the 54 checkpoints of the Frontier Crops would be removed from different parts of the province because of people’s complaints.

“The FC will establish these checkpoints along the border,” he said.

Responding to a question, he said all detained political workers of Balochistan would be released and cases registered against them would be dropped.

He said a committee had been formed to review the cases against political leaders and workers.

However, criminal cases would not be withdrawn, he said.

He said all law-enforcement agencies in the province would work under the chief minister.

He also said that the government was trying to resolve the issue of Balochistan and remove the “misunderstandings of our Baloch brothers”.

“I met PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, JWP leader Nawabzada Talal Akbar Bugti and other leaders in Quetta and discussed the Balochistan issue with them,” he said.

“We are trying to persuade our angry Baloch brothers to throw away their weapons and join the mainstream to serve Balochistan and Pakistan.”

He said the government was in touch with political parties in its efforts to find a political solution to Balochistan’s problems.

He said Mr Zardari was implementing the reconciliation process initiated by the late Benazir Bhutto.

The adviser appealed to all political forces to elect Mr Zardari unopposed as the president.

The adviser said army personnel would be withdrawn from the interior of the province and replaced by civil forces.

Chief Minister Raisani said there should be a ceasefire by both the government and the militants for the sake of peace.

He said the government was determined to go ahead with the process of political reconciliation.

Earlier, addressing Sulimankhail tribesmen in Sambaza and Gul Kach, Mr Malik said extremists were distributing suicide jackets among youths rather than educating them.

He said that the ‘war on terror’ was Pakistan’s own war.

Hinting at involvement of foreign hand in the increasing militancy in the tribal belt, he urged tribesmen to support the government and stop the activities of anti-state elements.

The adviser announced that offices would be set up for issuing national identity cards to people of the tribe.He said resolution of the Balochistan issue was the top priority of the prime minister and the PPP co-chairman and the confidence of the Baloch people would be restored.