Terror Trends suggests recent surge is a result of TTP Reunification

0
360

Pakistan has recently observed a surge in militant attacks in the country. May 2021 saw the highest number of militant attacks since October 2018, and June witnessed the second-highest number of attacks since October 2018. The surge coincided with the US-NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan and a surge in violence in Afghanistan.

Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies conducted a thorough analysis of the trends of ant-state violence for the past 18 months to ascertain whether the spike in the violence is related to US-NATO withdrawal or there are other factors involved. PICSS study found that surge in militant attacks in Pakistan is not directly related to US-NATO withdrawal or surge in Taliban attacks in Afghanistan. The study attributes the surge in Pakistan to the reunification of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan last year.

According to the PICSS Militancy Database 116 militant attacks were recorded in the first six months of the year 2021. In these militant attacks, 177 people were killed including 85 security forces personnel and 85 civilians while 269 were injured including 176 civilians and 85 security forces personnel.

While PICSS had recorded 79 militant attacks in the corresponding first six months of the year 2020 in which 133 people were killed including 54 security forces personnel and 16 civilians while 171 others were injured including 126 civilians and 45 security forces personnel.

During the last six months of the year 2020, PICSS reported 108 militant attacks in which 133 people were killed including 64 civilians and 62 security forces personnel while 424 people were injured including 327 civilians and 86 security forces personnel.

A surge of 37 percent in militant attacks was observed in the second half of the last year while a 47 percent increase in militant attacks is observed comparing the first six months of both years. The surge had started from July 2020 and continued till June 2021. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan was reunified in July-August 2020 and since its reunification with Hizb-ul-Ahrar, Jamat-ul-Ahrar and a few other smaller groups significant increase in militant attacks is observed.

In Balochistan during the first six months of the year 2021, 48 militant attacks were reported while 34 attacks were reported from July to December 2020 and 15 in the first six months (January to June 2020). A surge of 127 percent was observed in militant attacks in the second half of the last year while an increase of 220 percent was observed in the first six months of 2021 compared with the first six months of 2020. An increase of 41 percent was observed in the first six months of 2021 compared with the last six months of 2020. The number of deaths in militant attacks in the first six months of 2021 increased by 88 percent compared with the first six months of 2020 while the number of fatalities went up by 113 percent in the first half of the current year compared with the second half of the last year in Balochistan suggesting that terror trends in the province are in-line with the overall country trends.

Interestingly, the overall terror trend in tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (erstwhile FATA) did not witness much fluctuation during the last 18 months. A slight surge was observed in the second half of last year but the first half of the current year again brought the level of violent incidents almost at par with the first six months of 2020. 37 militant attacks were reported in the first half of 2020 in which 51 people were killed and 33 injured while 44 attacks were recorded in the second half of 2020 in which 54 people were killed and 75 injured. In the first half of the current year, 38 militant attacks were reported in which 48 people were killed and 51 injured. In terms of percentage, and increased by 3% in the first six months compared with the first six months of 2020, while the decrease was -14% compared with the last six months of 2020.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also witnessed a surge in militant attacks right after the reunification of TTP in July-August 2020. Militants had carried out 11 attacks in the first six months of 2020 in which eight people were killed and 19 injured while in the second half of the last year the numbers had gone up to 17 attacks in which 23 people were killed and 129 injured. Overall 55 percent increase in the militant attacks, 188 percent increase in deaths and 579 percent increase in the number of injured was observed in the second half of the last year. The number of militant attacks slightly declined in the first half of 2021 compared with the last half of 2020 as 15 militant attacks were reported from the province in which 15 people were killed and 10 injured. Comparing the first half of both the years results in a 36 percent increase in attacks and 88 percent increase in deaths while the number of injured was gone down by 47 percent.

The security situation continued to improve in Sindh province despite an overall surge in the militant attacks in the country. A slight increase in the militant attacks was observed in Sindh in the second half of the last year compared with the first half while the number again dropped considerably in the first half of the current year. In the first half of 2020, the militants had carried out eight attacks in which 15 people were killed and 80 injured while in the second half of the last year ten militant attacks were recorded from the province in which eight people were killed and 137 injured. In the first half of the current year, the number of militant attacks dropped to six, in which six people were killed however the number of injured increased to 169. In terms of percentage change, a 25 percent increase in the militant attacks was observed in the second half of the last year compared with the first half while a 40 percent decline was observed in the first six months of the current year compared with the last six months of the year 2020.

The security situation in Punjab also remained stable and terror trends are on a declining scale despite a high-profile attack in Lahore in June 2021. During the first six months of 2020, PICSS recorded seven militant attacks in which four people were killed and 27 injured while the number of attacks dropped to 4, deaths dropped to two however, the number of injured slightly increased to 32. In, the first half of 2021, the number of militant attacks in Punjab saw an upward trend compared with the last half of 2020 as five militant attacks were reported in which six people were killed and 26 injured. Comparatively, a 57 percent decline in the number of attacks and a 50 percent drop in the number of deaths was observed in the second half of the last year while the first half of 2021 saw a 29 percent decline in attacks but a 50 percent increase in deaths compared with the first half of 2020. Compared with the last six months of 2020, a surge of 67 percent in attacks and 200 percent in deaths was observed in Punjab.

The federal capital of the country witnessed an increase in militant attacks in the first half of the year 2021 as there were 3 attacks in the period from January to June 2021 in which three people were killed and the same number were injured. Only one militant attack was reported during the first half of 2020 while no militant attack was reported during the second half of the last year.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here