Islamabad: United States state department and an Islamabad based think tank Pak Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) claimed that terrorist attacks have been seen a further decline despite the militants organizations have readjusted their strategy in target selection and execution.
According to a US State Department report “Country Reports on Terrorism”, which describes the counter terrorism background during the last year? The total number of terrorist attacks reported in Pakistan decreased by 45%, total number of deaths reduced by 39%, and the total number of people injured decreased by 53% in comparison to 2015, the figures in the report were provided by Interior Ministry to the National Assembly during its last session on Friday.
An Islamabad based think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) headed by Abdullah Khan which collects the data of militants’ activities and security situation across the Pakistan released its monthly report. According to security assessment report the militant attacks have witnessed a further decline in August but their lethality has increased substantially. The report shows that 115 people including 89 civilians (mostly lawyers), 17 security forces personnel and nine militants were killed and 174 others injured including 157 civilians, 16 security forces personnel and one militant. The month witnessed 73 security forces actions in which 68 suspected militants were killed and 16 others injured while one security forces personnel lost his life and four others injured during these operations.
PICSS Militancy Database shows that 50 percent of the attacks were reported from Balochistan, where a low-level insurgency is going on for quite some time and political as well as military leadership believes that this upward trend in militant attacks in Balochistan is externally sponsored aimed at sabotaging China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Increase in violence in Balochistan also coincided with Independence Day celebrations when public in great numbers increasingly shows signs of celebrating national days. Militants in Balochistan targeted and eliminated a generation of lawyers through a devastating suicide attack in provincial capital Quetta, which was first in Pakistan after a gap of more than three months and first in Balochistan after a gap of almost six months.
PICSS Report shows that highest number of deaths and injuries were reported from Balochistan where 98 people were killed and 153 others injured in 15 militant attacks, followed by KPK where six people were killed and 14 others injured in nine militant attacks during the month of August. FATA witnessed five militant attacks in which six people were killed and seven others injured. One militant attack each was reported from Punjab and Sindh where three and two people were killed, respectively. No militant attack was reported from AJ&K, Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad Capital Territory.
According to PICSS monthly report, while security forces continued their focus on urban areas with intelligence based and combing operations during the month of August, their main attention remained apprehension of militants in Balochistan, KPK and FATA while military operation in Khyber Agency (Operation Khyber-3) was also initiated to clear high mountains and secure passes/routes that militants use for their movement across Afghanistan-Pakistan border. 41 alleged militants were killed in FATA, 16 in Balochistan, six in KPK and four in Sindh while 51 suspects were apprehended in Balochistan, 39 in Sindh, 34 in KPK and 17 in Punjab in 73 security forces operations/ actions. This indicates the extensive engagement of security forces in settled and urban areas of almost all conflict zones.
Report indicated that while majority of deaths and injuries were resulted from one suicide attack carried out in Quetta (Balochistan), the incidents of target killing particularly of the lone security forces continues unabated.