March 24, 2024

Political Temperature Coming Down but Security and Foreign Policy Challenges Mounting (15 – 22 March WSAR)

The past week in Pakistan saw a resurgence of violence, with security forces responding
vigorously to ten militant attacks that claimed 32 lives and left 22 injured. Spread across regions
including erstwhile FATA, Balochistan, and KP, the attacks varied in nature from targeted assaults
to suicide bombings and explosive incidents, suggesting potential coordination among militant
groups. High-profile attacks underscored the escalating security threat, necessitating a proactive
response from security forces and government policymakers. Additionally, five security
operations resulted in the neutralization of 15 militants and the apprehension of one individual,
highlighting the need for a robust and comprehensive policy response to address evolving
security challenges. Maintaining vigilance, enhancing coordination, and implementing effective
measures are imperative to safeguard public safety and national security amidst the heightened
threat landscape.
Despite a relative calm in the political arena, Pakistan faces mounting challenges in
security, economy and foreign policy domains. Notably, Pakistan and the IMF have reached a
staff-level agreement, signaling a step towards economic stabilization with the final tranche of
$1.1 billion expected. Meanwhile, Pakistan aims to attract investments, particularly from Middle
Eastern nations, through the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), jointly managed by
civilian and military authorities. However, security remains a pressing concern, with significant
attacks from TTP and BLA highlighting ongoing threats. Pakistan’s strategy of not engaging
militant groups in talks persists, with recent strikes inside Afghanistan drawing both Afghan
condemnation and border tensions. Amidst this, Pakistan is reviving its national action plan and
restructuring NACTA to bolster counter-terrorism efforts, recognizing the critical need for a
robust internal security approach amidst regional instability. The evolving policies of Afghan
Taliban towards TTP will significantly impact the security landscape, with implications extending
beyond Pakistan. As Pakistan navigates these multifaceted challenges, its ability to address
security threats while pursuing economic stability and regional cooperation remains crucial for
future stability.
The TTP issued condemnations of Pakistan airstrikes in Afghanistan, asserting its domestic
focus and denying global ambitions or foreign funding. Additionally, TTP released the fourth issue
of Banat-e-Khadeeja-tul-Kubra magazine, addressing various societal and religious topics,
including criticism of political figures and armed forces. Meanwhile, the Islamic State Khorasan
Province (ISKP) released a booklet justifying military activities during Ramadan and condemned
Pakistani airstrikes in Afghanistan, pledging retaliation. Notably, ISKP referenced new strike
locations, expanding its threat profile. Similarly, the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) published
propaganda highlighting operational commanders and commemorating fallen militants. BLA’s
media also showcased attack footage from Operation Dara-e-Bolan, illustrating ongoing militant
activities in the region.

To access the complete security assessment report
(8 – 15 March 2024)

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