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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan witnessed a sharp increase in terrorist attacks in August with 99 incidents reported across the country, marking 83 percent surge in militant attacks compared to July during which terrorists carried out 54 attacks.

According to the data compiled by Business Recorder from various sources both official and independent, it was revealed that there has been no letup in terrorist attacks despite Pakistan’s repeated requests to the Afghan interim government to take action against those militant outfits involved in terrorism in Pakistan, including the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

While commenting on the rise in terror attacks, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that it is important for the Afghan authorities to take action against those individuals and entities that threaten Pakistan.

“It is their (Afghan interim government) responsibility – their international, bilateral and their trilateral responsibility as they have committed in the trilateral meeting between Pakistan, Afghanistan and China in May this year. So, how they do it we do not want to comment on it but it is their responsibility and we hope they will fulfil the commitments that they have made,” she stated.

Data revealed that the month of August witnessed the highest number of 99 terrorist attacks and 112 fatalities, mostly members of the security forces, since November 2014 – four months after Pakistan military launched Zarb-e-Azb operation in North Waziristan on June 15, 2014.

Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies - an independent think tank revealed in its latest report that the month of August also witnessed four suicide attacks in the tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, July had witnessed five suicide attacks while an overall 22 suicide attacks were carried out in the first eight months of 2023 across the country, in which 227 fatalities were reported.

Majority of the attacks were carried out in the tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan as the data shows that erstwhile FATA witnessed a 106 percent increase in militant attacks from 18 in July to 37 in August while Balochistan witnessed a 65 percent increase from 17 in July to 28 in August.

Almost all the terror attacks were claimed by the banned TTP and its splinter groups. The most recent suicide attack in Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 31, in which nine Pakistan army soldiers were killed and five injured, was claimed by the Hafiz Gulbahadur group, a different faction of the TTP based in Afghanistan.

Earlier on August 22, six soldiers embraced martyrdom in an exchange of fire in South Waziristan district, while 12 more soldiers of the Pakistan army embraced martyrdom in separate military operations in the Zhob and Sui areas of Balochistan on July 12 when heavily armed militants attacked security forces.

The Sui attack followed a raid on a military installation in Zhob Cantt on July 13, wherein nine soldiers were martyred and five militants were resultantly killed.

A terror outfit calling itself the Tehreek Jihad Pakistan (TJP) claimed responsibility for the attack on the Zhob garrison. The same group had earlier claimed responsibility for an attack at an FC camp in the Muslim Bagh area of Qila Abdullah, as well as carrying out a suicide attack on police truck on the Quetta-Sukkur highway near Sibi.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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