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ISLAMABAD: The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Baloch insurgents, and Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K) were the major actors of violence in 2021 by perpetrating 87, 74, and eight terrorists’ attacks, respectively in the country.

According to the Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS)’s “Pakistan Security Report 2021”, the TTP and affiliates, Baloch insurgents, and the Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K) were the major actors of violence in 2021.

The TTP was believed to be involved in 87 terrorist attacks (78 in KP, five in Balochistan and four in the Punjab and Islamabad), which is an increase of about 84 percent from the attacks it perpetrated across Pakistan in the year before.

It says that Pakistan witnessed 42 percent increase in terrorist’s attacks in 2021 as compared to 2019-20.

A total of 207 reported attacks in the 2021 claimed 335 lives – an increase of 52 percent from those killed in such attacks in 2020 – and injured another 555 people.

It is the first time since the year 2013 that the number of terrorist attacks has posted an upsurge or reversal in a gradually declining trend, it says.

It says that those 335 killed in terrorist attacks included 177 security forces personnel, 126 civilians, and 32 militants.

As many as 66 percent of the total attacks targeted personnel, vehicles, and posts of security forces across Pakistan, the report says.

The developments in Afghanistan had already started influencing Pakistan’s militant landscape and security in 2021, it says.

The report violent and non-violent shades of religious extremism presented a critical challenge to Pakistan’s efforts to countering terrorism and achieving security and social harmony in the country, it says.

According to the report, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa witnessed the highest number of terrorist attacks as total of 111 attacks claimed 169 lives and inflicted injuries on another 122 people.

Balochistan was the second most-affected region by terrorism where 136 people were killed and 345 others were injured in 81 terrorist attacks perpetrated by Baloch insurgents as well as religiously inspired militant groups, the report says.

Similarly, eight terrorist attacks took place in Sindh province including five in Karachi and three in interior Sindh that killed a total of 13 people and injured 35 others.

Seven terrorist attacks were recorded in the Punjab and Islamabad in which 17 people lost their lives.

It says that different Baloch insurgent groups carried out 74 terrorist attacks in Pakistan (71 in Balochistan and three in Karachi), which claimed 96 lives and injured 151 others. As many as 63, or over 85 percent, of these attacks were carried by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) alone.

The IS-K affiliates perpetrated a total of eight terrorist attacks including seven in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and one in Balochistan.

In all, 21 people lost their lives and another four were injured in these attacks.

The report says that security forces and the law enforcement agencies intensified anti-militant kinetic actions in the year 2021.

On the whole, they killed as many as 186 militants in military/security operations as well as armed clashes and encounters with the militants – compared to 158 militants killed in such actions in 2019.

Most of these actions concentrated in the KP and Balochistan.

Security and law enforcement agencies also arrested 156 suspected terrorists and members of militant groups in as many as 70 search and combing operations conducted in 2021 all over the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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