PESHAWAR, Jan 11: The military authorities have extended the deadline for two wanted militants in South Waziristan to surrender to local authorities to Jan 26.

The armed forces operating in the troubled tribal region had earlier set Jan 15 for Abdullah Mehsud and Baitullah Mehsud to surrender or face action.

The deadline had been extended on the appeal of a 70-member ulema delegation belonging to South Waziristan, who called on Corps Commander Lt-Gen Safdar Hussain here on Tuesday, said an ISPR press release.

Abdullah Mehsud and Baitullah Mehsud are on the wanted list of the authorities for their alleged involvement in attacks on troops in the Mehsud-dominated areas of the South Waziristan which borders Afghanistan. Abdullah Mehsud, carrying a reward of Rs5 million on his head, is accused of being involved in the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers last year.

The press release said that ulema argued that due to harsh weather, inaccessible terrain and forthcoming Eidul Azha, they needed time to reach the wanted men and convince them to surrender.

Speaking on the occasion, Lt-Gen Safdar Hussain said that Baitullah Mehsud would be offered amnesty if he turned himself over to the political administration. He, however, said that Abdullah Mehsud's case was different as he tried to spoil relations between Pakistan and China by kidnapping two Chinese engineers.

In a related development, a wanted militant Maulvi Bashir, who belongs to South Waziristan, handed himself over to the authorities in Peshawar on Tuesday, officials said. Meanwhile, a 30-member tribal jirga of Bajaur Agency called on Goveror Iftikhar Hussain here on Tuesday.

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