Quetta - Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif said that 20,000 Baloch youths became part of armed forces during the past few years. Addressing the passing out parade ceremony of 1,800 recruits from Balochistan, the COAS said that the number of officers and soldiers recruited from Balochistan had increased recently. CM Dr Malik Baloch, Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Nasir Khan Janjua and other civil and military officers also participated in the ceremony held at Quetta Garrison on Thursday. In his speech, the Army Chief said that the development of Pakistan is linked to Balochistan’s progress.  “I am proud and honored to be here,” General Raheel said, adding that Balochistan was enriched with mineral and natural resources and its people were talented. General Raheel said that armed forces played an important role in relief activities in earthquake affected Awaran district.

He also praised the Army’s role in ensuring peace during recently held local bodies elections in the province. “I hope the new recruits would play their role in stability of the country and to face challenges,” he said. Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch underlined the need for maximum recruitment of Baloch youths to bring an end to prevailing sense of deprivation among the people. He said that the province is undergoing a difficult situation and it is responsibility of the people from all walks of life to play their due role in restoration of peace.

The chief minister reiterated that his government is ready to hold talks with all groups to find an amicable solution to issues relating to the militancy-hit province.