262 terror attacks claim lives of 595 people in 2018: PIPS


–Balochistan remained the centre of attention with 354 people martyred in attacks

ISLAMABAD: As many as 595 people, including security personnel, were martyred along with 1,030 others injured in 262 terrorist attacks carried out by militant, insurgent and violent sectarian groups across the country during 2018, according to a report compiled by an Islamabad-based think tank.

The Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) report titled “Pakistan Security Report 2018” says, “These attacks posted a 29 per cent decrease from the previous year.”

Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) and its splinter groups- Jamma- ul-Ahrar, Hizbul Ahrar and others, alone executed 171 attacks which resulted in the death of 449 people.

Meanwhile, the remaining attacks were carried out by nationalist rebel groups, mostly in the Balochistan and a few in Sindh, resulting in the death of 96 people and injuring 45 others.

According to the PIPS report, most of the attacks were targeted at security and law enforcement agencies. Among these attacks, the most menacing were carried out on political leaders and workers. The deadliest ones took place in the run-up to the July 25 general elections. Meanwhile, security forces and law enforcement agencies killed a total of 120 militants in 2018 – compared to 524 in 2017 – in 31 military/security operations as well as 22 armed clashes and encounters with the militants reported from across four provinces

131 cross-border attacks from Pakistan’s borders with Afghanistan, India and Iran claimed 111 lives and injured 290 others, the report noted.

Balochistan remained the centre of attention with 354 people martyred in attacks while 59 per cent of the total toll in Pakistan took place in the province.

PIPS report calls for removing any uncertainty to this end and recommends that any process to this end should be comprehensive, led by parliament, which should lay down criteria to the pre-conditions of mainstreaming such groups. This will greatly help the government too which already is facing several challenges.

The report also calls for permitting a civilian-led law enforcement apparatus. It was in this spirit that the role of NACTA has been critical, a focal body of relevant intelligence feeds. Instead of authorizing this body under the direct chairpersonship of the prime minister, proposals have been floating in 2018 to either abolish NACTA completely or undo its backbone, Joint Intelligence Directorate. PIPS report calls for revisiting such thoughts.