Pakistan: Over 300 rebels surrender arms in Balochistan

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 Dawn reported.

The suspected militants who reportedly belonged to various banned militant 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 in the occasion.

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

They said they were misled by some elements to serve their personal agendas at the cost of poor people.

Appreciating the surrender, Chief Minister Zehri said peace and reconciliation process would 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.

“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.

More than 800 suspected militants had laid down arms in the province last year in pursuance of the provincial government’s reconciliation process.

The largest province of Pakistan, 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.

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