PESHAWAR, Jan 20: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would continue to bleed owing to militancy and the growing terrorist threats would be difficult to overcome without improving governance and achieving political stability in the country, according to experts.
As per the first ever Global Terrorism Index (GTI), released on December 4, last, Pakistan was the second most affected by terrorism in 2011 with 1,468 deaths and 2,459 injured persons in 910 terrorist attacks, highest after Iraq.
“Yes, we can very rightly be adjudged the second most affected by terrorism because we have been inflicted fatalities and destruction by an adversary or non-state actors, who don’t have any ethics as they don’t believe in any principles,” said Brig (retired) Mehmood Shah, a former secretary security of Federal Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), when contacted.
‘Global Terrorism Index: capturing the impact of terrorism for the last decade,’ prepared by the Institute for Economic and Peace with its offices in Sydney and New York, is a ranking and comparison of 158 countries over a ten year period from 2002-2011. It analyses a dataset on terrorist activity with over 104,000 cases of terrorist attacks suffered globally.Idrees Kamal, a Peshawar-based civil society member, when contacted, said Pakistan had resorted to counter terrorists by forming peace lashkars (peace committees involving armed volunteers), which was against Article 256 of the Constitution.
“State is responsible to maintain peace and protect people’s lives and properties,” said Mr Kamal, adding the state had shifted its responsibility to peace committees that had added to the problem.
As per GTI, Pakistan has also been ranked the number two among the 158 indexed countries where the impact of terrorism increased the most from 2002 to 2011, according to the IEP report that summarises changing trends in terrorism as well as analysing its different dimensions in terms of geographic activity, methods of attack, organisations involved, its national context in terms of economic development and governance.Iraq has been ranked the most affected and Afghanistan the third most affected as per GTI that has describe the United States in a list of 10 countries where terrorism’s impact has decreased.
The IEP report points out that Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and its associated terrorist groups, in the case of Pakistan, carried forward the agenda of terrorism and destruction, whereas globally ‘Taliban is the organisation that is responsible for both the most incidents and fatalities.’
“The Taliban can be given the dubious titles of having caused the highest number of fatalities,” according to IEP report that pinpoints that terrorism is connected with low political stability, human rights violations and low levels of inter-group cohesions.
Brig Shah agrees with the IEP’s findings, saying that Pakistan had been suffering from weak political stability and poor governance and the lack of an effective decision making on the part of the country’s political leadership.
Afghanistan, said Mr Shah, suffered less fatalities and injuries as compared to Pakistan because the coalition forces, particularly the USA, did not carry out major military operations there, whereas in Pakistan the strategic concept of sealing the country’s border with Afghanistan eroded.
“There is no implementation of laws and illegal cross-border movement remains unchecked,” he said.
He said Pakistan would rank the first most affected by terrorism if an index identical to GTI was developed for 2012. According to GTI, Pakistan experienced a massive increase in the number of people killed in terrorist attacks, recording the figure of fatalities going up from 96 fatalities in 2002 to 1468 in 2011. Two thirds of the terrorist attacks were carried out either in the form or bombings or explosions followed by the fatalities inflicted by using firearms.
Among the cities that suffered the largest number of attacks included Peshawar, Karachi, Quetta, Dera Bugti, Khyber Agency, Mohmand Agency, and Bajaur Agency, according to the IEP.
The report points out that with its continued internal struggles and external tensions Pakistan is the country that has suffered massive increase in GTI score after Iraq. Attacks on educational institutions in Pakistan, according to the report, account for 13 per cent of all attacks recorded.