Islamabad: After a consistent decline in militant attacks for six years, Pakistan witnessed a 56 per cent surge in attacks and acts of sabotage during 2021 despite a one-month ceasefire by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
This rise in militant attacks coincided with the Afghan Taliban’s military offensive that started in May last year and reached its culmination in August 2021 when they took over Kabul, and established their government in Afghanistan, according to a study conducted by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Study (PICSS).
The statistics released by the Islamabad-based think tank show the militants carried out 294 attacks during the year, in which 388 people were killed, including 184 civilians and 192 security forces personnel, while 606 people were injured, including 389 civilians and 217 security forces personnel.
188 militants killed, 225 suspects arrested
Pakistan’s security forces also killed 188 militants and arrested at least 225 suspected militants during the year, the study revealed.
August turned out to be the month with the highest number of attacks in 2021 when 45 attacks were carried out by militants, the PICSS report said.
There was no letup in attacks despite a one-month ceasefire from November 10 to December 10, the report said, adding the average number of militant attacks per month in Pakistan rose from 16 in 2020 to 25 in 2021, which is the highest after 2017.
“The year 2020 had witnessed 188 militant attacks in which 266 people were killed and 595 injured. There is a 56 per cent increase in the number of attacks, 46 per cent increase in the total number of deaths and 66 per cent rise in casualties of Pakistani security forces,” the PICSS militancy database stated, adding the number of militant attacks in 2021 was the highest after 2017 in any year while the number of deaths was the highest in any year after 2018.
Balochistan most turbulent province
Balochistan turned out to be the most turbulent province where 170 deaths were recorded in 103 attacks. The highest number of injured were also reported from Balochistan wher,e more than 50 per cent of the total injured, 331, were recorded.
KP second most-affected province
The tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) have been the second most affected region of the country, with 103 attacks, exactly the same that Balochistan witnessed.
However, the number of deaths in KP remained much less than Balochistan – 117 compared to 170.
In Sindh, 15 militant attacks were recorded in which 23 people were killed and 29 injured. In Punjab, militants carried out 10 attacks in which 10 people were killed and 87 injured. Islamabad witnessed three militant attacks claiming three lives while a person was killed in a single militant attack in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.