Militancy returns amidst more pronounced shifts in tectonics plates

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During the week, sudden jump in militant activities has been observed. In 35 militant activities of the week, 60 people were killed including four SFPs, 2 PGRs, 12 militants and 42 civilians while 93 others injured including 10 SFPs, 1 PGR, six militants and 76 civilians. Civilians constitute 70pc of deaths and almost 82pc of injured. As compared to previous week, there has been almost 67pc increase in militant activities, over 30pc increase in resultant deaths and over 111pc increase in injuries. Self-explanatory province/ region wise militants’ activities is given in Table-1 while weekly comparison, regional distribution, regional impact, type of attacks and impact of attacks are reflected in Figures 1-5.

Prominent militant activities of the week included bomb blast at displaced persons’ camp (used by tribesmen from Orakzai Agency) in Tog Sarai area of Hangu (KP) killing at least nine and injuring 14 others; killing of six militants during gunfight with security forces when a check-post of paramilitary forces was attacked by militants from across the border in Khyber Agency; four rockets were fired from Afghanistan in Pashin district of Balochistan; six militants were killed and six others were injured in a blast at Laskhar-i-Islam base in Khandao area of Tirah Valley (Khyber Agency) when militants were reportedly examining an explosive device that went off; unprecedented attack on
polio team in Gujranwala (Punjab) injuring three people; hand grenade attack at a barber shop in Langoabad area of Quetta killing at least three people and injuring 12 others; suicide bombing in Hazara Town area of Quetta killing at least five people; killing of one person in an attack on photographer’s shop in Sariab Road in Quetta; remote control bomb blast in Spini area of Quetta injuring eight people; killing of at least seven people and injuring of 11 others during an explosive in passenger coach in Bazid Khel area on Kohat Raod in Peshawar; killing of three people and injuring of nine others in a possible sectarian attack when a van was targeted through road side bomb blast near  Haramosh village on Gilgit-Skardu road in Gilgit; killing of at least six people and wounding 12 others during a bomb blast in a passenger bus at Peshawar Chowk in Kohat.

Suicide blast in Quetta’s Hazara Town was possibly a sectarian incident as Shia Hazara community was living in that area, which was also brutally targeted in the past causing numerous deaths. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi could be involved in latest suicide attack. Similarly, bomb blast in Gilgit-Baltistan was also sectarian in nature. Gilgit-Baltistan is a sensitive place in terms of sectarian Shia-Sunni clashes.  Activities of the sectarian outfits at this point in time suggest that all sort of militants have stepped up their efforts including increased activities of Baloch insurgents (which is visible from numerous attacks in Balochistan particularly in Quetta), and hyper activeness of ideological drive TTP and likes in FATA, KP, Karachi with possible ingress in Balochistan.

Due to developments regarding militant forces in the region and beyond, every militant group in this part of the world would like to be seen as potent force to camouflage their internal vacuums as well as to make them “buyable”.    Bomb blast in passenger vehicles could either be a new strategy adopted by the militants to create panic among general masses or it could be frustration that stems for human and material losses inflicted during ongoing operation in Pakistan. These militant outfits are fighting the war of their survival. Will Pakistan, as a state and society, be able to dismantle them or at least pacify is yet to be seen. Merely use of force will not solve the problem of multi-dimensional threats that have their military, political and social connotations. Possibly, a similar response but of higher magnitude would only work.

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