Daily Briefs

Photo : Annual Security Report 2019, Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), www.crss.pk

2 January, Thursday

Terrorist incidents and casualties in Pakistan declined during 2019

CRSS report claims an improvement in the security situation

PR Daily Brief | D. Suba Chandran

What happened?
According to a data released by an independent think tank - the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), Pakistan has witnessed a 31 per cent decline in terrorism-related incidents and casualties during 2019.  

According to the CRSS data, "A 30.71% drop in fatalities was observed in 2019 (from 980 in 2018 to 679 in 2019). If the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KP) province and the former​​ Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)​​ are counted as separate regions1, Balochistan still remains most affected of militancy and insurgency. The largest drop in fatalities was observed in Balochistan (44.2%), followed by FATA (39%), Sindh (19%), and Punjab (11.8%)."

The CRSS report, published online also claims: "only two militant outfits, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter groups and the Islamic State (IS), claimed responsibility for 12 and 1 attacks respectively, but their own ranks depleted by nearly 30%. Civilian fatalities declined by about 36%."

What is the background?
2019 undoubtedly was one of Pakistan's most positive years during the last decade in terms of terrorism-related incidents and the casualties. Since the US invaded Afghanistan and displaced the Taliban, al Qaeda and their affiliates from their strongholds, Pakistan became a primary battleground during the last two decades.

Since the establishment of Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan, referred popularly as the Pakistani Taliban, the country was facing the worst form of terrorist attacks across all the four provinces – more in KP. Punjab, which was considered as safe, also witnessed a series of militant attacks, thus bringing terrorism into the heart of Pakistan, from the borderlands of KP and Balochistan.

Suicide attacks became one of the most preferred strategies of these militant groups, wreaking havoc on civilian targets. According to the CRSS report, the suicide attacks also came down during 2019 – to a mere 9, from 26 in 2018. 

The entry of ISIS and/or its affiliates in Pakistan was another concern for Pakistan during the recent years. According to the CRSS report, there was also a decline in the ISIS attacks within Pakistan; it claimed, only one attack during 2019.

Despite criticisms and complaints, the security forces of Pakistan have fought back and have reduced the incidents and casualties of terrorism. 

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