QUETTA - After the imposition of Governor’s Rule in Balochistan, the government has again offered a monthly stipend of Rs 10,000 to each Baloch resistance fighter who is willing to surrender.

This decision was made Sunday at a meeting of an apex committee constituted to resolve the problems facing Balochistan province. Chaired by Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, who is also the chief executive of the province, the meeting was also attended by Commander of Southern Command Lt-Gen Muhammad Alam Khattak, Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad, Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani, IG of Frontier Constabulary Maj-Gen Obaidullah Khattak and Balochistan Police chief Tariq Omer Khattab.

The meeting decided the government would ensure welfare of those militants who were willing to lay down their weapons, besides giving them maximum facilities. This has been principally decided after the interim order of the Supreme Court on the Balochistan law and order case.

In previous meetings, it was said that resistance fighters who were ready to lay down their weapons would be given monetary incentives. However, last’s week meeting was informed that Rs50 million had been allocated for those who would lay down their arms and surrender to the government. A sum of Rs5 million has been released in this connection.

Sources said the meeting also decided that the government would ensure the welfare of these militants and provide them jobs in accordance with their qualification.

Some circles in the government say that the reconciliation policies which were announced for the improvement of the law and order in Balochistan were being seriously implemented to return normalcy to the province.

Although Baloch armed groups did not express their reaction to the government offer, a hardliner Baloch nationalist organisation, Baloch National Voice, strongly opposed it, and stated the Baloch people could no more be hoodwinked through such announcements and incentives.

The government on the one hand is making offers for peace while on the other hand it is carrying out targeted operations in Mastung and Mangochar following the imposition of the Governor’s Rule.

Security forces had claimed to have killed a commander of banned Baloch Liberation Army along with his two associates in Mastung while killed six members of the same call in another targeted operation in Mangochar area of Kalat district.

Massive protests were held in different Baloch-dominated areas of Balochistan against the targeted operations in Mangochar, Mastung and Awaran. The Baloch National Front, an alliance of hardliner Baloch parties and organizations, alleged that the operation had been intensified in Balochistan after the imposition of the Governor’s Rule.

The Voice for Baloch Massing Persons (VBMP), a local organisation striving for the recovery of the missing persons, claimed that body of two missing persons, Allah Raka Nichari who was picked up from Quetta and Babul Jattak who was abducted from Mastung bazaar, were thrown away in Mangochar after targeted operation and they were portrayed as of BLA members. It also claimed that recovery of the two bullet-riddled bodies and abduction of political workers has increased throughout the province. Political observers say sincere efforts are needed to address the issues of Balochistan to promote peace; otherwise mere announcement of packages and concessions would not bring stability to the conflict-stricken province. In fact, they say the recovery of bodies and the deteriorating law and order would also sabotage the upcoming elections in the province which are much essential in Balochistan as compared to other provinces as all key political parties had boycotted the 2008 general elections in this province.

Meanwhile, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl and the Balochistan National Party-Mengal are making endeavours to get withdrawn the Governor’s Rule from the province. JUI-F provincial chief and Pakistan Ideological Council chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani is slogging hard these days in Islamabad to muster support for their cause. He met with PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and presented a three-point formula for steering the province out of the political quagmire.

Sources said Sherani had proposed to give the chief ministership to the PML-Q or PPP, while the JUI-F would sit on opposition benches. The second option was that the CM-ship be given to the JUI-F, while the PML-Q and PPP should sit on opposition benches, and the third point says if Raisani’s government is restored, then he (Sherani) would guarantee that Nawab Aslam Raisani would tender his resignation within a week. Similarly, after a few days of Sherani’s three-point formula, it was said that Raisani had dispatched his resignation to Mr Sherani.

Sources said the PPP top brass is also deliberating to lift the Governor’s Rule from Balochistan and negotiations in this connection were underway with the JUI-F and PML-Q; however, so far they had no made consensus on name of new leader of the house.  On the other hand, the Quetta Yakjehti Council, an alliance of different Shia organisations, warned if the Governor’s Rule was lifted the Shia community would launch a strong country-wide protest.

Sardar Sahdat Ali Hazara, in a press conference, said the Governor’s Rule was imposed in the province for two months and it was also promised that targeted operation would be taken against culprits behind murder of Shias.

It may be mentioned here that the government made major reshuffle in the Police Department after the imposition of Governor’s Rule as around 26 district police officers were transferred. Earlier, most of the sectaries and deputy commissioners, posted on the choice of ministers, were transferred. Following the imposition of Governor’s Rule, incidents of kidnapping for ransom, highway robberies and other crimes have decreased to some extent.