ISLAMABAD: A total of 1,206 terrorist attacks were carried out by militant, nationalist/insurgent and violent sectarian groups in Pakistan carried out a total of 1,206 terrorist attacks in the year 2014 including 26 suicide blasts, which claimed 1,723 lives besides injuring another 3,143.
While the number of terrorist attacks in 2014 decreased by 30 percent from the year before, the overall number of people killed and injured in these attacks also decreased by 30 and 42 percent, respectively. These statistics were provided in Pakistan Security Report 2014, prepared and recently released by Pak Institute for Peace Studies.
The report further reveals that 436 of the total reported terrorist attacks (about 36 percent) across Pakistan exclusively targeted security forces and law enforcement agencies. Also, the comparative 30 percent decrease in the number of terrorist attacks reported across Pakistan in 2014 was marked by the decreased incidents of terrorist attacks in most regions of Pakistan, except Punjab and Islamabad.
The security forces launched a total of 130 operational strikes against militants in 23 districts and regions of Pakistan, most of them in the North Waziristan and Khyber agencies of FATA, which killed 1,917 militants besides nine civilians, one FC soldier and three army troops.
In all, as many as 2,099 incidents of violence of different types were reported from across Pakistan in 2014, including the terrorist attacks and military operations cited above, as well as incidents of ethno-political violence; drone attacks; inter-tribal, inter-militant and clashes between tribesmen and militants; cross-border attacks and clashes; and abductions by militants and nationalist insurgents etc. A total of 5,308 people were killed and 4,569 injured in these various incidents.
The PIPS report also identifies challenges faced by Pakistan’s internal security during 2014 including critical internal threats such as changing dynamics of terrorist groups amid internal rifts and influence of the ISIS, growing faith-based violence and hatred, cross-border terrorist networks, internally displaced persons, lack of prison security and reforms, changing tactics and targets by the terrorists and illegal weapons etc. The report identifies.
The report highlights that the changing composition of terrorist groups will bring new challenges for the law enforcement agencies. Many terrorist groups are preparing to enter another phase of ideologically and operationally transformed jihadi discourse, and the implications for Pakistan’s internal security are severe. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is a real and emerging threat for Pakistan and its influence and inspiration is increasing inside the country.
Besides underscoring the need for taking up some immediate policy initiatives such as better policing, counter-terrorism legislation and a multifold reintegration program for banned militant and sectarian groups, the report also recommends to establish a national dialogue forum with a view to evolve a counter-extremism narrative and strategy, to give the role of coordinating among institutions to the Cabinet Committee on National Security, to launch de-radicalization programs at provincial level, to effectively manage IDPs, and to improve and strengthen the criminal justice system.
In order to neutralize violent extremist tendencies, the report recommends the government to initiate a reintegration scheme. Under this scheme the government can offer amnesty to banned groups that agree to quit violence inside and outside the country.