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26 Baloch militants surrender to authorities

As part of the ongoing reconciliation process, 26 militants belonging to various outlawed militant groups surrendered their weapons to authorities in Balochistan's Khuzdar district on Friday.

“More militants will surrender before the authorities in the days to come," Balochistan government spokesperson Anwarul Haq Kakar had said on April 21, when 434 militants submitted their weapons and surrendered to the authorities.

The militants surrendered at a ceremony organised at the Kalat Scouts campus in Khuzdar. PML-N Senator Niamatullah Khan Zehri, Commandant Kalat Scouts Colonel Rizwan Afzal and other officials participated in the weapons laying ceremony.

The militants laid down their weapons under the leadership of commander Omar Baloch, who belonged to an outlawed organisation.

"We are denouncing violence and will now work for the country and nation," Baloch said.

During the last two years, more than 1,600 militants have abandoned a bloody armed struggle against the state.

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"We are civilian soldiers of Pakistan," Senator Zehri told the function. He said that enemies of Pakistan were bent upon hatching conspiracies and carrying out subversive activities inside Balochistan.

Col Rizwan welcomed the 'reformed' ex-militants and urged them to work for the peace and development of not just Balochistan but of greater Pakistan.

The largest province of the country by area is home to a low-level insurgency by ethnic Baloch separatists. Al Qaeda-linked militants also operate in the region.

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Author: Jasmine Amber

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26 Baloch militants surrender to authorities