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Pakistan announces amnesty for Baloch insurgents

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Feb. 24, IRNA -- Pakistan has announced amnesty for Baloch nationalist insurgents to bring them to the mainstream political system.

The move came just days after the issue was raised in US Congress, which sparked resentment in Pakistan.

Pakistan described a resolution on Balochistan in the US Congress as violation of the country’s internal affairs.

Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik offered to withdraw all cases against top Baloch insurgents Brahamdagh Bugti, Harbiyar Marri and other Baloch leaders if they were willing to return back to the country.

Both the Baloch leaders are living in exile.

Speaking to the media after a meeting with Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, he said that there has to be a political solution to the Balochistan issue and that action needs to be taken to save the country.

Security sources say that many insurgents have gone to mountains and routinely launch attacks on security forces in parts of Balochistan.

Prime Minister Gilani has also planned an All Parties Conference (APC) on the issue of Balochistan, but the main opposition leader Nawaz Sharif has made his party’s participation conditional with the recovery of missing Balochs and trial of all those who were involved in the killing of Baloch tribal elder Nawab Akbar Bugti in 2006.

Bugti, then chief of Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP), was killed in a military operation when Pervez Musharraf was ruling the country.

A court in Balochistan has already issued arrest warrant for Pervez Musharraf in Bugti murder.

The Interior Minister asked the JWP provincial president Shahzain Bugti to choose leaders whom the government would talk to.

There was no reaction from the JWP to the offer.

However, a leader of Bugti tribe earlier announced several conditions for holding talks with the government, that also include recovery of hundreds of missing persons, end to military operation in the province and arrest of those involved in the killing of the tribe chief.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80003631

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