More than 140 rebels lay down arms in Baluchistan province of Pakistan
More than 140 rebels laid down their arms in Pakistan's southern province of Baluchistan, the government announced on Tuesday, following major Chinese investment in the region.
Anwaar ul Haq, a provincial government spokesman said on Monday that militants, from groups including the Baluchistan Liberation Front (BLF), the Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) and the Lashkar e Baluchistan, laid down their arms.
Two commanders, relatives of BLF chief Allah Nazar Baluch, were also among the surrendered 140 people, Haq said.
"According to them, they were disillusioned from the fight, because they joined thinking that it was for a national cause, but within a year or two, they realised ... that the movement was directionless," Haq said.
BLF spokesman has not commented yet on the reported surrenders.
Baluch rebels have been fighting the Pakistani state for nearly a decade to gain independence for resource-rich Baluchistan province from Pakistan.
The government is keen to secure the province as work begins on the $46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, a project that will see a trade route built along the length of Pakistan, culminating in Baluchistan's deep-water port at Gwadar.
China Overseas Ports Holding Company took over Gwadar's operations in 2013.