By Ashrafuddin Pirzada
ISLAMABAD: Data collected from various credible sources Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies(PICS) revealed that in the past two months of ceasefire by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan(TTP) no significant decline was recorded in anti-State violence in Pakistan.
The number of militant attacks during May and June 2022 still remains higher than in the first three months of the year. The violent pattern is almost the same as it was before the announcement of the ceasefire by the TTP.
The number of militant attacks has slightly decreased in the month of June as compared to May 2022. However, a visible increase in causalities was also observed in June. A decline in terror attacks is anticipated in the wake of cleanup operations by the security forces in the country. Despite the TTP’s indefinite ceasefire announcement in early June, an increase in security forces’ actions was witnessed in the erstwhile FATA and KPK.
According to the statistics released by an Islamabad-based independent think tank, Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICS) the number of militant attacks decreased by 10 percent during the month of June but alternatively, the deaths and injuries increased by 5 percent as compared to May 2022.
In June, the militants carried out 26 attacks in which 36 people were killed including 12 security forces personnel, and 26 people got injured including 6 security forces personnel.
In May 2022, the militants carried out 29 attacks across the country, in which 20 people were killed and 39 people got injured. It is worth noting that in April 2022, the number of attacks had reached 35 with 55 deaths which was the highest number of attacks in any single month in 2022.
The highest number of deaths was reported in March 2022 when 115 people were killed in 26 attacks. The month of January saw 42 deaths in 24 attacks while February witnessed the lowest number of attacks in a single month as 13 such incidents were reported in which 25 people were killed.
Militant attacks in the first six months of 2022
In Erstwhile FATA, PICSS has recorded more than twice the increase in militant attacks as compared to May 2022. In June 2022, 12 militant attacks were reported in which 20 people were killed including six security forces personnel, while 12 other people sustained injuries including two security forces personnel.
TTP has not claimed responsibility for any militant attack in the region. The number of militant attacks in tribal districts of KP (former FATA) in June is greater than the number of militant attacks in the first three months of the year which shows the least impact of the ceasefire on violence in FATA. This means that the TTP is not the only factor responsible for violence in the tribal region and KPK.
Unconfirmed reports suggested that Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group (Shura Mujahideen) and ISIS are believed to be behind the spike in militant attacks in erstwhile FATA (tribal districts of KPK).
TTP’s inability to control violence puts a question mark on the overall impact of the ongoing peace talks on the security situation.
In response to the increase in militant attacks, security forces’ actions were also increased in the region. Six security forces actions were reported from erstwhile FATA in which 16 alleged militants were killed.
In response to an increase in security forces’ actions, TTP issued a statement that security forces’ actions will affect the ceasefire.
Balochistan witnessed a slight decrease in militant attacks in June 2022 as compared to May 2022. Seven militant attacks were reported in which nine people were killed including three security forces personnel while four people including a security forces personnel sustained injuries.
The province had witnessed 9 militant attacks in May in which 3 people were killed. Balochistan also witnessed five security forces actions in which eight alleged militants were killed and four others were apprehended.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, target killing of security forces remained a highlighted issue as three militant attacks were carried out in which three security forces personnel were killed.
In a security forces actions reported from KPK, seven alleged militants were killed in two intelligence-based operations. In Sindh, four militant attacks took place in which four people were killed and eight others sustained injuries.
Two security forces’ actions were also reported from Sindh in which two alleged militants were apprehended. In Punjab, security forces carried out four cleanup operations in the province against the defunct militant organizations in which 22 alleged militants were arrested. In Punjab, no militant attack took place during the month of June while one militant attack was reported in May.