‘Decline in suicide attacks in Pak last year’

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 4, 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 4, 2012 - 15:53

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