Pakistan 2022: Anti State Violence Highest in 5 Years

Executive Summary

Islamabad: The data released by an Islamabad-based think tank the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies shows that the year 2022 has seen the highest number of militant attacks in Pakistan during the last five years as the terror incidents increased by 28 percent compared with 2021. A 37 and 35 percent rise in deaths and number of injured respectively was also recorded by the PICSS in 2022. The country faced at least 376 terror attacks in 2022, in which 533 people were killed and 832 were injured. This is for the first time since 2017 that the country faced more than 300 militant attacks. In 2017, Pakistan witnessed 420 militant attacks in which 912 people were killed and 1877 injured. The human losses in terror attacks in 2022 were also the highest since 2018, as for the first time in the last four years, the deaths were more than 500.

According to PICSS, the country has also witnessed four times more suicide attacks in 2022 than in 2021. In 2022, Pakistan faced at least 15 suicide bombings while in 2021, only four suicide attacks were reported. This is the highest number of suicide attacks in a year since 2018.

A provincial breakdown of terror incidents suggests that the major surge in anti-State violence was reported from mainland Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (excluding tribal districts) where the militant attacks increased by 119 percent, resultant deaths by 229 percent, and injured by 433 percent. The worsening security situation in KPK can be comprehended from the fact that 34 percent of the total terror incidents in 2022 were reported from mainland KPK while 30 percent of the total terror attacks were reported from tribal districts of the province (former FATA) thus 64 percent of the total terror incidents were reported from the province. Balochistan followed KPK, where 27 percent of the total attacks were reported while Sindh had a 7 percent share in it.

In mainland KPK, 127 militant attacks were reported in which 204 people were killed and 309 injured. In erstwhile FATA (tribal districts of KPK), PICSS recorded 113 militant attacks in which 173 people were killed and 138 were injured. Balochistan witnessed 103 attacks in which 123 people were killed and 303 injured. Sindh witnessed 25 terror incidents resulting in 22 deaths and 40 injured. In Punjab, at least three militant attacks resulted in 5 deaths and 33 injured. Three low-profile attacks were also reported from Gilgit-Baltistan, in which no casualty was reported.

The upward trend in militant attacks started in 2020 the same year when different factions of TTP were reunited. However, unprecedented escalation was witnessed from May 2021 onwards, which coincided with the offensive of the Afghan Taliban against the security forces of the previous regime. The violence further increased in Pakistan after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021. The year 2021 witnessed a 56 percent rise in terror attacks in Pakistan while 2022 saw a further 28 percent rise. The average of terror attacks per month in 2020 was 16, which rose to 25 in 2021, and in 2022 it further increased to 31 attacks per month. A four-month-long ceasefire by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan also could not stop the upward trend in anti-state violence in Pakistan


Further increase in overall violence (security forces actions and militant attacks combined) was observed in 2022 as the year witnessed 589 overall incidents in Pakistan in which 904 people were killed and 885 others were injured while 284 suspected militants were arrested. In 2021, as many as 501 such incidents were recorded in which 617 people were killed and 646 others were injured whereas, in the year 2020, there were 333 overall incidents in which 429 people were killed and 619 others were injured while 2019 had witnessed 270 overall incidents in which 393 people were killed and 687 others were injured. This indicates that overall violence is constantly on the rise. When compared with 2021, there has been more than a 17 percent increase in overall incidents, a 46 percent increase in the number of deaths, and an almost 40 percent increase in the number of those injured. A detailed break-up of overall incidents and regional distribution is given in Table-1&2. Among those killed in 2022, the highest share was that of militants followed by security forces personnel and civilians as out of 904 people killed, 387 were suspected militants, 282 security forces personnel, and 236 civilians while among the injured, civilians mostly remained at the receiving end followed by security forces personnel as out of 885 people injured, 557 were civilians and 325 were security forces personnel.

CategoryIncidentsSFP KilledRZ KilledM KilledC KilledTotal DeathsSFP InjuredRZ InjuredM InjuredC InjuredTotal InjuredArsKdn
Table 1: Break up of overall violent incidents of the year 2022

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