QUETTA: Forty-three Baloch separatist militants surrendered and renounced violence at a ceremony in Dera Bugti on Tuesday. The militants belonged to the Baloch Republican Army (BRA), one of the proscribed separatist groups fighting a low-key insurgency in Balochistan since 2004, according to official sources.

“They [militants]handed over their weapons to security officials,” a spokesman for Frontier Corps said. He confirmed the militants belonged to BRA. Sources added that the militants announced disassociation with Brahamdagh Bugti, who is believed to be running the group from abroad.

Bugti, whose application for political asylum was turned down by Switzerland government, is now seeking refuge in India, the country Pakistan blamed for stoking terrorism in Balochistan and elsewhere in the country.

According to the FC spokesperson, the militants pledged that they would remain loyal to Pakistan and work for its development. “We made up our minds to renounce the armed struggle and join the mainstream after Brahamdagh Bugti applied for asylum in India,” one of the militants said at the ceremony.

The spokesperson added that dozens of more BRA militants and sympathizers would also be giving up violence soon. He added that BRA militants were attacking their colleagues who have given up violence. “The other day, they attacked a village, named Banri, and took away 1,500 cattle heads and weapons from residents.” Later, FC troops conducted an operation in the area and recovered the cattle-heads and weapons and returned to villagers.


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