ISLAMABAD: A slight upward tick has been observed in casualties in militant attacks in Pakistan during April though the number of such assaults remained the same as compared to March.
Militants appear to be trying to get back some territory in North Waziristan tribal district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where most of these violent activities were recorded in April. The alarming situation in North Waziristan can be gauged from the fact that 90 per cent of casualties in violent incidents during the month of April took place in this district.
A slight increase is also observed in activities of Pakistani security forces against militants. An Islamabad-based think tank, Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), has released statistics for March, which show the number of casualties in militant activities increased by 6pc but injuries decreased by 75pc, compared with March, across Pakistan.
PICSS recorded a total of nine militant attacks during April in which 18 people died — 10 security personnel and eight militants — while six security forces personnel got injured. Tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (erstwhile Fata) witnessed the highest number of violent militant activities, where six out of total nine attacks took place.
Eight security personnel lost their lives in the tribal districts of KP, while eight militants were also killed. Four security personnel were also injured in erstwhile Fata. Apart from eight militants killed during retaliatory actions by security forces, 21 more militants were also killed in the tribal districts of KP in actions initiated by security forces, PICSS statistics show.
Two militant attacks were reported in Balochistan and one in Sindh — all of them of minor nature with two casualties in Balochistan.
No militant activity was recorded in Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and other parts of Pakistan, but an incident of kidnapping took place in the provincial capital of Sindh, where a 39-year-old Chinese national was abducted.
Meanwhile, Pakistani security forces carried out a total of 16 actions against militants in areas of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, erstwhile Fata, and Sindh. Pakistani forces arrested 12 suspects involved in different terror and anti-state activities, including eight from Sindh and four from KP. Four members of Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent were also arrested in Karachi.
An assistant sub-inspector of police was arrested for his alleged ties with Indian intelligence agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing). During an information-based raid on Karachi University, security forces recovered weapons, ammunition, computers, anti-state literature, maps, and checkboxes.
Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2020