ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhary on Thursday said that terrorism incidents in the country had increased by 52 per cent since “Operation Regime Change”, a euphemism his party uses to refer to the ouster of its government through a no-trust vote in April.

Expressing grief over the loss of precious lives in Wednesday’s suicide attack near Quetta, he said the operation regime change had been carried out to topple “a well-performing PTI government” and replace it with an “imported inept government”.

The PTI leader claimed that during the tenure of the current government, 270 people, including security personnel, had lost their lives in terrorism-related incidents and hundreds others had suffered injuries.

He said the main reason for rise in acts of terrorism was non-existence of a “serious and competent” government in Islamabad. He said the current government had ruined the “fast thriving economy” besides destroying the governance altogether.

Think-tank’s data indicates number of attacks decreased from Oct to Nov

He said the Afghan policy was also in a shambles as no one was paying attention to counter-terrorism, fearing they might lose the hard-earned achievements after 2018.

On the other hand, an Islamabad-based think tank, the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), claimed that the number of militant attacks had gone down by 12pc in November compared to October of this year.

In November, the militants carried out 34 attacks in which 42 people were killed, including 17 security forces personnel and 25 civilians. In these attacks, 49 people were also injured, including 35 security forces personnel and 14 civilians, PICSS said in a report.

In October, the militants carried out 39 attacks in which 33 people were killed and 41 injured. At the end of the month, the proscribed militant group Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan announced ending its so-called ceasefire and intensifying attacks. Within 48 hours of the announcement, the group carried out a suicide attack in Quetta.

November witnessed two suicide attacks — one in erstwhile Fata and the other in Quetta.

“During the first 11 months of the current year, militants carried out 330 attacks in which 483 people died while 755 were injured. If compared with the first eleven months of 2021 there is a 24pc increase in militant attacks, 35pc rise in resultant deaths while 32pc increase in the number of injured,” the report said.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2022

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