In October, Pakistan experienced a decrease in militant attacks, with 47 incidents resulting in 51 deaths and 47 injuries. The violence has primarily concentrated in KP and Balochistan. Notably, 21 guerilla attacks accounted for a majority of the casualties. Security forces responded with intensified operations, resulting in 52 militant deaths and 27 apprehensions in 34 notable actions nationwide.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar unequivocally ruled out talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), emphasizing the state’s resolve to combat terrorism. He emphasized that Pakistan’s strength would withstand the challenge posed by terrorists. Kakar clarified that registered Afghan refugees were not being expelled, but only those residing illegally.
Pakistan’s current approach prioritizes force and measures to constrain TTP’s violent activities. While effective in the short term, a long-term solution may necessitate engagement with entities like TTP, acknowledging that force alone may not suffice.
Pakistan’s political landscape is in flux, with internal strife within the ruling PTI party. Farrukh Habib’s departure exemplifies growing dissent. Legal challenges, including the cipher case against Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and the recent Supreme Court decision against military trials of civilians, are key developments. Nawaz Sharif’s return after four years in exile is seen as an understanding with the establishment. PPP’s call for fair political competition, emphasizing PTI’s role in elections, highlights the evolving dynamics. Efforts towards political reconciliation, seen in a surprising meeting between PTI and JUI-F leaders, hold potential for reconciliation. The Supreme Court’s setting of a polling date for general elections on February 8 adds stability, but an uptick in violence is expected, given historical opposition from militant groups.
The Supreme Court’s endorsement of a law emphasizing parliamentary supremacy and limiting the chief justice’s powers, along with the ruling against military trials of civilians, mark significant steps towards constitutional democracy. Enforced disappearances remain a pressing concern, prompting a constitutional petition filed by Aitzaz Ahsan. The petition seeks a commission to probe disappearances and safeguard individual rights, potentially setting the stage for a judiciary-establishment standoff.
Tensions persist between Pakistan and Afghanistan, amplified by Pakistan’s stricter border controls and deportation plans. This has led to criticism and expedited asylum processes by the UK. The Pak-Iran border committee’s meeting underscores joint efforts to combat terrorism and smuggling, with plans for stricter border controls, including a fence. China is engaging with military to address CT concerns for its citizens.
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