Security Forces Intensifying IBO’s, helping in reduction of anti-state violence: PICSS
In KPK significant decline in anti-state violence was recorded during the month of October, 2015 highlighting success of security forces and governmental policies and measures to curb militancy. Increased number of intelligence based operations (IBO’s) and narrowing down way for militant activities by security forces have helped in decline in anti-state violence. However October remained a bit volatile month in terms of stability and peace in the country. Violence in Baluchistan seems to be popping out again, though it was expected and reported earlier that province of Baluchistan has set the sail for passive recovery. Militants managed to carry out few yet major attacks during the holy month of Muharram specifically on Shiite community. The ruling government is increasingly under the threat of various shades of militant outfits including sectarian and TTP/ Al-Qaeda affiliates. The party is assessed to be targeted due to its focus on NAP/ military operation and change of heart with regards to sectarian outfits. This was detailed in a Monthly Security Assessment Report by an independent Islamabad based think-tank, Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS).
According to the statistics recorded by PICSS, a decline was seen in militant activities during the month of October as compared to the previous month of September. In the month of October 2015, 41 militant activities were recorded by PICSS as compared to 55 militant acts in September, 2015. In these 41 militant attacks, 26 security forces personnel and 69 civilians lost their lives whereas 6 militants were also killed. So a noticing increase can be observed in resultant deaths of civilians as compared to 38 civilian deaths in September, 2015. Notable increase in militant activities was also observed in Baluchistan while KPK, FATA, Sindh and Punjab witnessed reduction in violence during this month. Flaring up of violence in Baluchistan again is a matter of great concern as in October, 17 militant attacks were recorded by PICSS in Baluchistan as compared to 11 in month of September.
Significant militant act was a suicide attack on the political office of a Parliamentarian of ruling PML-N in DG Khan. Militants with sectarian credentials have also managed to target members of Shiite community during Muharram. Due to heightened security and increased vigilance from security forces, the sectarian outfit was not able to target Shiite mourning processions in urban areas and thus resorted to wreaking havoc in remote rural areas. In one of such incident reported from Bhag area of Bolan district of Baluchistan, through suicide bombing an imambargah was targeted. Another suicide bombing was reported from Jacobabad district of Sindh where a powerful suicide blast ripped through a Muharram procession. Another major blow by militants was kidnapping of 21 workers of Army run FWO from South Waziristan.
According to data gathered by PICSS regarding anti-state violence in Pakistan, a total number of 11 IEDs were recorded with five in Baluchistan, four in FATA, and two in KPK. A total of 13 militants’ physical assaults were also noted throughout the country with five in Balochistan, three in Fata, two in Sindh, two in KP, and one in Punjab. Six incidents of target killing were reported across the country, signifying a decline in such type of incidents during the month which were previously seventeen. Three rocket attacks were noticed with two in FATA and one in Baluchistan. Three grenade attacks were recorded in country with two in KPK and one in Baluchistan. The PICSS report revealed that security forces operations against militants are maintaining the same pace.
In October, 131 security forces actions against militants were recorded across the country. In these 131actions, at least 125 suspected militants were killed while one security forces personnel lost his life. Security forces continued to focus on intelligence based operations and as many as 309 suspects were arrested across the country. Widespread security forces intelligence based operations are helping in gaining success against militancy. The positive and hopeful developments were enhanced prowess of security forces to bust sleeper cells of the militants in urban areas and arresting/ eliminating some notable militant leaders including those belonging to Al-Qaeda and TTP. In this regard, security forces have intensified its intelligence based operations.