IPRI Comments

Photo Source: Dawn
   International Peace Research Initiative (IPRI)
Conflict Resolution and Peace Research Programme
National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS)
For any further information or to subscribe to Conflict Weekly alerts send an email to subachandran@nias.res.in

In comparison to 2018, terror attacks have declined by 13 per cent and the death toll due to terrorist attacks have dropped by 40 per cent. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (125) experienced the most attacks, followed by Balochistan (84), Sindh (14), Punjab (5) and Islamabad (1)

Print Bookmark

IPRI # 37, 28 March 2020

Report Review
Pakistan: Decline in Terrorism

  Lakshmi V Menon


Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) published their Pakistan Security Report for the year.  PIPS’ report records a total of 229 terrorist attacks in 2019 by various militant, sectarian, and insurgent groups that killed 357 people and injured 729 more across Pakistan. The report’s main thrust is the decline in terrorism in 2019.

The report encompasses nine chapters: Overview of Security, Security Landscape, Militant landscape, State Responses, Militant Landscape of Baluchistan, Wave of Suicide Bombing (2007 to 2011), CPEC Security, Faith-based Violence and other Incidences, and Baloch Insurgency. 

An overview in 2019
In comparison to 2018, terror attacks have declined by 13 per cent and the death toll due to terrorist attacks have dropped by 40 per cent. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (125) experienced the most attacks, followed by Balochistan (84), Sindh (14), Punjab (5) and Islamabad (1). Karachi alone saw ten attacks.

‘Overview of Security’ discusses critical challenges like the FATF ruling, need for de-radicalisation and addressing violent extremism and suggests measures such as FATA’s merger into KP, regularizing Madrassas and implementing the National Action Plan. ‘Pakistan’s Security Landscape’ has provincial-level comparisons of targets hit, sectarian violence, border attacks, suicide attacks, violence against workers and political leaders. The greatest number of sectarian attacks occurred in Balochistan (7), followed by Sindh (6) and KP (1). The most attacks targeting political leaders also took place in Baluchistan (on BAP, BNP-M and JUI-F leaders), followed by KP where PPP and ANP leaders were struck. 

The state’s internal security landscape faces internal and external challenges. Pulwama situation coupled with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s revocation of Kashmir’s special status pose strategic threats to Pakistan’s eastern side, demanding the Centre’s attention to conventional security threats. The porous Af-Pak border further becomes complex with Baloch insurgents utilizing Iranian territory for cover.

The Militants Landscape in Pakistan
‘Militant landscape’ covers religiously-inspired militant groups (like local Taliban, TTP, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Lashkar-e-Islam, IS, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, Jamaatul Ahrar and Hizbul Ahrar and Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan SMP) and nationalist insurgent groups (like Lashkar-e-Balochistan, Baloch Republican Army (BRA), Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Sindhu Desh Liberation Army and unidentified militants). ‘Militant landscape of Balochistan’ elaborates on sectarian and religious extremism and nationalist insurgency while detailing on targets, tactics, advantages and internal fissures. Activities of insurgency groups like United Baloch Army, Baloch Republican Guards (BRG), BRA, and Lashkar-e- Balochistan; and extremist groups such as LeJ, SMP, ISO, Ansar Al-Furqan, Daesh, Jamaatul Ahrar, Jaishul Adl, TTP and Hizbul Ahrar are studied in detailed.

Religiously inspired militant groups like TTP, its splinters Jamaatul Ahrar and Hizbul Ahrar, IS-affiliates, LeI have concentrated their activities on KP and Baluchistan; they orchestrated 158 attacks (171 in 2018) killing 239 people and injuring 489 more. Blasphemy accusations, like the incident in Ghotki in September 2019, where Hindu community was attacked and looted, exemplify intolerance promoted by religiously-inspired militant groups. Nationalist insurgency groups, primarily Baloch perpetrated 57 attacks (80 in 2018) claiming 80 lives and injuring 162 people. 14 reported attacks which were sectarian in nature (12 in 2018) killed 38 and injured 78 more. Those killed included 164 civilians, 163 security, law enforcement personnel and 30 militants. 

A Profile of Attacks
Attacks targeting security caused most casualties. 39 attacks directly targeted civilians; 11 attacks targeted Shia community, mainly Hazaras; another 11 attacks targeted diplomats, peace committee members and pro-government tribesmen; and 9 attacks hit political workers and leaders. Terrorists employed IEDs (123 attacks), suicide bombers (4), rockets (3), hand-grenades (5), bombs (2), shootouts and direct firing (92 attacks).

Operational attacks, encounters and clashes between security forces and militants, terrorists arrested in 2019 and foiled terror bids are covered in ‘State Responses’. ‘Wave of Suicide Bombing in Pakistan’ between 2007-2011 shows effects on public perceptions and opinions. ‘CPEC Security in 2019’ looks at the growth of special security forces, Indian opposition, project-security, worker-security, and security discussions during JCC meetings, among others.

Despite Pakistan’s overall decline in terror attacks, incidences from KP persisted as in 2018. 42 per cent of the 125 attacks recorded in KP were in North Waziristan. The prolonged merger of FATA in KP that has caused implementation hurdles and slow state responses may be the reason. 

In 2019, anti-money laundering and controlling terror financing were critical policy requirements in Pakistan; causing long-term consequences in the security and financial sectors. In June 2018, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had put Pakistan in the ‘greylist’ and warned against black-listing. In February 2020, the global watchdog decided that Pakistan would continue in the ‘greylist’ until a further review in June 2020.

Policy Suggestions
The report makes policy suggestions to fulfil PM Imran Khan’s promise of a terror-free ‘Naya Pakistan’. First, is an open Parliament debate on future and status of banned groups coupled with the establishment of a national-level high-powered truth and reconciliation commission. Second, is the scrutiny of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) that reflects trust issues between KP’s population and security forces. Government’s indifference may worsen the brewing conflict. Third, is giving special attention to Baluchistan’s security landscape, the complexity of which has increased by both nationalist and religious non-state actors. The situation demands immediate measures for mainstreaming and reintegration of insurgents. Baloch youth seem to have realized violence is not the way; government must reciprocate. A fast-track mechanism for Balochistan’s missing persons is also suggested as a confidence-building measure. Fourth, is addressing hurdles to the effective implementation of NAP in 2019, such as lack of a dynamic, evolving, proper plan with periodic monitoring, identified goals and regular reviewing. 

In Pakistan, terror attacks and casualties have decreased gradually since 2009 (except in 2013, when sectarian violence peaked). NAP’s counter-extremism measures along with anti-terror department’s anti-militant surveillance and operational campaigns have helped keep the trajectory low. Nevertheless, the threat of terrorism endures in virtual and physical pockets.

Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies is a non-governmental, independent, non-profit advocacy and research think-tank which has maintained a digital database with in-depth analysis on critical security and conflict issues since 2006. It provides comprehensive data regarding terror incidents, ethnopolitical violence, inter-tribal in-fighting, evolving militant tactics and targets, comparative analysis of different security factors and nature of state responses.
 

Print Bookmark

Other IPRI Publications

Conflict Weekly 19
May 2020 | IPRI # 69
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

Cyclone Amphan in the Bay of Bengal, Ceasefire in Afghanistan, Indo-Nepal border dispute in Kalapani, Honour Killing in Pakistan, New protests  in Hong Kong & the Anti-lockdown protests in Europe

read more
Conflict Weekly 18
May 2020 | IPRI # 68
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

Kalapani dispute in India-Nepal border, Migrants exodus in India, Continuing violence in Balochistan and KP

read more
Conflict Weekly 17
May 2020 | IPRI # 67
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

The return of Hong Kong Protests, a new Ceasefire in Myanmar, China-Australia Tensions on COVID & Trade, and the Al Qaeda-Islamic State clashes in Africa

read more
Conflict Weekly 16
May 2020 | IPRI # 66
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

The Binge-fighting in Kashmir Valley, SIGAR report on Afghanistan, Killing of a PTM leader in Pakistan, the US Religious Freedom watchlist, and Haftar's ceasefire call in Libya

read more
Conflict Weekly 15
April 2020 | IPRI # 65
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

Ceasefire and Self Rule in Yemen, Syrian war trial in Germany, SIPRI annual report on military spending, and Low civilian casualties in Afghanistan 

read more
One year after the Easter Attacks in Sri Lanka
April 2020 | IPRI # 64
IPRI Comments

D Suba Chandran

Healing needs Forgiveness, Accountability, Responsibility and Justice

read more
One year after the Easter Attacks in Sri Lanka
April 2020 | IPRI # 63
IPRI Comments

La Toya Waha

Have the Islamists Won? 

read more
Conflict Weekly 14
April 2020 | IPRI # 62
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

A new wave of arrests in Hong Kong, One year after Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, ISIS violence in Mozambique, and the coming global Food Crisis

read more
COVID-19 and the Indian States
April 2020 | IPRI # 61
IPRI Comments

Alok Kumar Gupta

Jharkhand: Proactive Judiciary, Strong Civil Society Role, Rural Vigilantes

read more
COVID-19 and the Indian States
April 2020 | IPRI # 60
IPRI Comments

Alok Kumar Gupta

Bihar as Late Entrant: No Prompt Action, Punitive Measures, Migrant Crisis 

read more
COVID-19 and the Indian States
April 2020 | IPRI # 59
IPRI Comments

Anshuman Behera

Odisha’s Three Principles: Prepare for the Worst, Prepare Early, Prevent Loss of Lives

read more
COVID-19 and the Indian States
April 2020 | IPRI # 58
IPRI Comments

Niharika Sharma

New Delhi as Hotspot: Border Sealing, Curbing Fake News, Proactive leadership

read more
COVID-19 and the Indian States
April 2020 | IPRI # 57
IPRI Comments

Vaishali Handique

Northeast India: Civil Society in Unison, Media against Racism, Government’s Timely Preparedness 

read more
COVID-19 and the Indian States
April 2020 | IPRI # 56
IPRI Comments

Shyam Hari P

Kerala: Past Lessons and War-Footing response by the administration

read more
COVID-19 and the Indian States
April 2020 | IPRI # 55
IPRI Comments

Shilajit Sengupta

West Bengal: Proactive Local Leadership, Early Lockdown and Decentralised Action

read more
COVID-19 and the Indian States
April 2020 | IPRI # 54
IPRI Comments

P Harini Sha

Tamil Nadu’s Three Pronged Approach: Delay Virus Spread, Community Preparedness, Welfare Schemes 

read more
COVID-19 and the Indian States
April 2020 | IPRI # 53
IPRI Comments

Hrudaya C Kamasani

Andhra Pradesh: Early course correction, Independent leadership and Targeted Mitigation  

read more
ONE YEAR AFTER THE EASTER ATTACKS IN SRI LANKA
April 2020 | IPRI # 52
IPRI Comments

Sanduni Atapattu

Preventing hatred and suspicion would be a bigger struggle

read more
ONE YEAR AFTER THE EASTER ATTACKS IN SRI LANKA
April 2020 | IPRI # 51
IPRI Comments

Chavindi Weerawansha

A majority in the minority community suffers, for the action of a few

read more
ONE YEAR AFTER THE EASTER ATTACKS IN SRI LANKA
April 2020 | IPRI # 50
IPRI Comments

Chrishari de Alwis Gunasekare

The Cardinal sermons for peace, with a message to forgive

read more
ONE YEAR AFTER THE EASTER ATTACKS IN SRI LANKA
April 2020 | IPRI # 49
IPRI Comments

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

Who and Why of the Perpetrators

read more
ONE YEAR AFTER THE EASTER ATTACKS IN SRI LANKA
April 2020 | IPRI # 48
IPRI Comments

Natasha Fernando

In retrospect, where did we go wrong?

read more
ONE YEAR AFTER THE EASTER ATTACKS IN SRI LANKA
April 2020 | IPRI # 47
IPRI Comments

Ruwanthi Jayasekara

Build the power of Co-existence, Trust, Gender and Awareness

read more
ONE YEAR AFTER THE EASTER ATTACKS IN SRI LANKA
April 2020 | IPRI # 46
IPRI Comments

N Manoharan

New ethnic faultlines at macro and micro levels

read more
ONE YEAR AFTER THE EASTER ATTACKS IN SRI LANKA
April 2020 | IPRI # 45
IPRI Comments

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera

A year has gone, but the pain has not vanished

read more
WOMEN, PEACE AND TWENTY YEARS OF UNSC 1325
April 2020 | IPRI # 44
IPRI Comments

Kabi Adhikari

In Nepal, it is a struggle for the women out of the patriarchal shadows

read more
WOMEN, PEACE AND TWENTY YEARS OF UNSC 1325
April 2020 | IPRI # 43
IPRI Comments

Jenice Jean Goveas

In India, the glass is half full for the women

read more
WOMEN, PEACE AND TWENTY YEARS OF UNSC 1325
April 2020 | IPRI # 42
IPRI Comments

Fatemah Ghafori

In Afghanistan, there is no going back for the women

read more
Conflict Weekly 13
April 2020 | IPRI # 41
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

Executing Mujib's killer in Bangladesh, Continuing conflicts in Myanmar, Questioning Government's sincerity in Naga Peace Deal, Releasing Taliban prisoners in Afghanistan, and a report on damming the Mekong river by China

read more
Conflict Weekly 12
April 2020 | IPRI # 40
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

Globally, Coronavirus increases Domestic Violence, deflates Global Protests, threatens Indigenous Communities and imperils the migrants. In South Asia, two reports question the Assam Foreign Tribunal and the Afghan Peace deal

read more
Afghanistan
April 2020 | IPRI # 39
IPRI Comments

Sukanya Bali

One month after the deal with the Taliban: Problems Four, Progress None

read more
Conflict Weekly 11
April 2020 | IPRI # 38
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

Releasing a former soldier convicted of a war crime in Sri Lanka, Deepening of internal conflicts in Myanmar and the Taliban’s Deal is a smokescreen in Afghanistan

read more
Conflict Weekly 10
March 2020 | IPRI # 36
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

More violence in Afghanistan, Naxal ambush in India, Federal-Provincial differences in Pakistan's Corona fight, and a new report on the impact of CoronaVirus on Conflicts

read more
Conflict Weekly 09
March 2020 | IPRI # 35
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

The CoronaVirus: South Asia copes, China stabilises, Europe bleeds and the US wakes up finally

read more
Conflict Weekly 08
March 2020 | IPRI # 34
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

Triumphant Women's march across Pakistan, Anti-CAA Protests in Dhaka,  Two Presidents in Afghanistan, and Turkey-Russia Ceasefire in Syria

read more
Conflict Weekly 07
March 2020 | IPRI # 33
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

Aurat March in Pakistan, US-Taliban Deal in Doha, Anti-CAA protest in Meghalaya, Sri Lanka’s withdrawal from the UNCHCR Resolution, and the problems of ceasefire in Syria and Libya 

read more
Conflict Weekly 06
February 2020 | IPRI # 32
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

Seven Days of Peace in Afghanistan, Violence in Delhi, Setback to Peace Talks on Libya and the Ceasefire in Gaza

read more
Conflict Weekly 05
February 2020 | IPRI # 31
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

Afghan Election Results, US-Taliban Deal, Hafiz Saeed Conviction, Quetta Suicide Attack, Assam Accord, Mexico Femicide and the Climate Change impact on Bird Species

read more
Conflict Weekly 04
February 2020 | IPRI # 30
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

Sri Lanka drops Tamil anthem, Assam looks for a new census for the indigenous Muslim population, Bangladesh faces a Rohingya boat tragedy and Israel witnesses resurgence of violence post-Trump deal

read more
Conflict Weekly 03
February 2020 | IPRI # 29
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

Continuing Violence in Afghanistan, Bodo Peace Accord in Northeast India, Attack on the anti-CAA protesters in Delhi, and Trump's Middle East Peace Plan

read more
Conflict Weekly 02
January 2020 | IPRI # 28
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

Bangladesh and ICJ's Rohingya Verdict, Taliban and Afghan Peace, Surrenders in India's Northeast, New government in Lebanon and the Berlin summit on Libya

read more
Conflict Weekly 01
January 2020 | IPRI # 27
IPRI Comments

IPRI Team

Nile River Agreement, Tehran Protests, Syrians meet in Berlin, Honduran Caravans in Mexico, Taliban's ceasefire offer, Quetta Suicide attack, Supreme court verdict on J&K and the Brus Agreement in Tripura

read more
Myanmar
October 2019 | IPRI # 26
IPRI Comments

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

Will prosecuting Suu Kyi resolve the Rohingya problem?

read more
Climate Change
October 2019 | IPRI # 25
IPRI Comments

Lakshman Chakravarthy N & Rashmi Ramesh

Four Actors, No Action

read more
From Okjökull to OK:
September 2019 | IPRI # 24
IPRI Comments

Rashmi Ramesh

Death of a Glacier in Iceland

read more
The Hong Kong Protests:
August 2019 | IPRI # 23
IPRI Comments

Harini Madhusudan

Re-defining mass mobilization

read more
The Hong Kong Protest:
August 2019 | IPRI # 22
IPRI Comments

Parikshith Pradeep

Who Wants What?

read more
Myanmar
March 2019 | IPRI # 5
IPRI Comments

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

The Other Conflict in Rakhine State

read more
West Asia
February 2019 | IPRI # 4
IPRI Comments

Seetha Lakshmi Dinesh Iyer

Yemen: Will Sa'nna fall?

read more
China and Islam
February 2019 | IPRI # 3
IPRI Comments

Harini Madhusudhan

Sinicizing the Minorities

read more
Terrorism
January 2019 | IPRI # 2
IPRI Comments

Sourina Bej

Maghreb: What makes al Shahab Resilient?

read more
Global Politics
January 2019 | IPRI # 1
IPRI Comments

Aparupa Bhattacherjee

Myanmar: Will 2019 be better for the Rohingya?

read more