‘Decline in suicide attacks in Pak last year’
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Last Updated: Wednesday, January 04, 2012, 15:54
  
Islamabad: Even though Pakistan witnessed a decline in suicide attacks last year, with their number falling significantly to 45 from 68 in 2010 and 87 in 2009, it is yet to develop a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy, a report prepared by a leading think tank has said.

The "Security Report 2011" by Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies said that there were only 45 suicide attacks across the country last year.

A total of 676 people, most of them civilians, were killed and 1,462 injured in these attacks. More than half the suicide attacks occurred in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and killed 449 people, the report said.

It further stated that a total of 2,985 incidents of violence were reported last year, compared to 3,393 in 2010 and 3,816 in 2009, a decline of 12 and 22 per cent, respectively.

The report included operations by security forces against militants, particularly in the tribal areas, and incidents of cross-border attacks from Afghanistan in the category of violent incidents.

"Casualties in violent incidents went down from 10,003 in 2010 to 7,107 in 2011, a decrease of 29 per cent. The number of injured declined from 10,283 in 2010 to 6,736 in 2011, a decline of 34 per cent," the report stated.

There were 1,966 incidents of terrorist attacks by militants and insurgents and sectarian violence last year and they left 2,391 people dead and 4,389 injured.

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas witnessed 675 terrorist attacks, the highest for any region of Pakistan, during this period.

The militancy-affected provinces of Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa witnessed 640 and 512 terrorist attacks, respectively, last year.

Fifty-eight attacks were reported in Karachi and 21 in other parts of Sindh, 30 in Punjab, 26 in Gilgit-Baltistan and four in Islamabad.

No terrorist attack was reported from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the report said.

The highest number of casualties in terrorist attacks last year was reported from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, where 820 people were killed and 1,684 wounded.

This was followed by Balochistan (710 killed and 853 injured) and the tribal areas (612 killed and 1,190 injured). A significant number of casualties were reported from Punjab and Karachi.

According to the report, security forces launched 144 attacks on militants in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal areas, killing at least 1,016 militants.

A total of 279 militants surrendered while 4,219 were arrested.

Few of them were put on trial, the report said. The report attributes the fall in conflict-related casualties largely to military operations in the tribal areas and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and to fewer suicide bombings and US drone strikes last year.

The overall incidence of sectarian violence declined by nine per cent ? from 152 incidents in 2010 to 139 last year. However, unlike in 2010, incidents of sectarian violence were reported from several cities and towns, claiming 79 lives in Karachi, 80 in Quetta, 50 each in Kurram Agency and Dera Ghazi Khan and 26 in Mastung.

The report highlighted the absence of effective political means to address the situation in Balochistan.

It said, "The tribal guerrilla warfare of earlier years had morphed into a robust urban insurgency in the province. Enforced disappearances, targeted killings and recovery of bullet-riddled bodies from across the province continued." The report says that Pakistan is yet to develop a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy despite the many challenges faced by the country due to terrorism.

The focus has been on countering insurgency in tribal areas, mainly through the use of the military and raising local militias to confront the militants.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, January 04, 2012, 15:53


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