QUETTA : As part of the political reconciliation, 17 militant commanders among over 200 militants, dubbed as Ferraris, laid down arms in the far-flung Turbat district of Balochistan on Thursday.

The former militants admitted that they were persuaded by propaganda of the so-called insurgents and were used against the country. The militants laid down arms before Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qadus Bizenjo and Commander Southern Command Lt-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa.

The civil-military high-ups handed them out Pakistani flags and cash amounts in a ceremony.

The Balochistan reconciliation process was launched by former chief minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch after coming into power in 2013 general polls. Speaking out the arms-laying down ceremony, the chief minister again extended an olive branch to insurgents to join the national mainstream and take advantage of government’s offer. Bizenjo termed it a historical decision by the insurgents joining the national mainstream which would leave a positive impact on the province.

The chief minister stated that anti-Pakistan elements had shed blood of innocent civilians and personnel of the law enforcement agencies for their nefarious designs.

On Dec 9 last year, more than 300 insurgents alongwith 17 militant commanders of various proscribed organisations had surrendered under ‘Peaceful Balochistan Policy’ before the government and the security officials in Quetta.

The chief minister warned that the government will keep its writ intact and wouldn’t allow anyone to challenge it.

The chief minister clarified, “No leniency will be shown to those threatening the lives of people and integrity of Pakistan.”  

He also pledged that government – fulfilling its constitutional, national and ethical obligations – would provide full assistance and job opportunities to those insurgents coming back into national mainstream under ‘Peaceful Balochistan Policy’.