Zehri says reconciliation process will continue
More than 313 members of different banned outfits, including 17 commanders, surrendered their arms during an event at Balochistan Assembly Saturday morning.
The event was attended by Chief Minister Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri, Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa among other civil, military leaders. The rebel militants came one-by-one to the stage, handed over their weapon and were given Pakistan’s flag and a flower in return.
While addressing the ceremony, Zehri remarked that people who will disrupt the peace process in Pakistan will be taken to task. Referring to the militants who surrendered their arms, Zehri remarked that the decision to surrender arms will prove to be beneficial for them. “You will no longer be used for fulfilling plans of others,” he said.
“You will be respected like other citizens of Pakistan and Balochistan. The government will fight for your rights, provide you financial assistance, and ensure that your children are educated,” he assured the militants. 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 latest ceremony follows numerous other ceremonies held in different parts of Balochistan during which hundreds of militants have surrendered, including militant commander Balkh Sher Badeeni who surrendered in January this year. The militants surrendered during a ceremony at FC Madadgar Headquarters Quetta. Home Minister Balochistan Sarfraz Bugti and a large number of civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
On February 22, Kafeel Mengal, a key commander of a banned militant organisation, surrendered to the security forces. Mengal was also joined by 14 of his accomplices, according to security sources. Mengal also pledged faithfulness to the nation. The militants belong to the outlawed Baloch Republican Army.
The decision to surrender came on the same day Pakistan Armed Forces launched a nationwide military operation ‘Radd-ul-Fasaad’, which would include broad-spectrum security and counter-terrorism operations in Punjab, and continuation of ongoing operations across the country.