The year 2022 ended with December as the deadliest month for Pakistan while the country suffered as many as 376 terror attacks in the year that resulted in an increased number of casualties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan.
The Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), in its annual report released on Saturday, said that the majority of these attacks were claimed by banned terror outfits, such as the Tehreek-i- Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Islamic State of Khorasan and Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).
These terrorist attacks that targeted civilians and security personnel included ambushes through improvised explosive devices and suicide attacks, mostly in the Pakistan-Afghan border regions.
As a whole, the report said KP experienced an “exponential rise in violence” whereby the fatalities there also remained higher.
“The highest victims of violence were civilians, government officials and security personnel. Among civilians there were some foreigners as well,” the report said.
The CRSS said that after November 28, an “unprecedented spate of terrorist violence” ensued in KP and Balochistan, with over two dozen attacks in the month of December alone.
It added that this development took fatalities in KP to nearly “64 per cent of all the fatalities in the country”, followed by Balochistan which suffered 26pc of terror-related deaths.
“Most of the terrorist violence originated from eastern Afghanistan,” the report further quoted officials as saying, with “top TTP elements operating from Afghanistan”.
The report said that most of the terrorist strikes were concentrated in Bannu, Waziristan, Bajaur and Kurram districts. “These districts directly abut Afghan provinces of Kunar, Nangarhar, Paktia, Paktika and thus act as a springboard for terrorist attacks into Pakistani mainland,” the report said.
Over the past few months, the law and order situation in the country has worsened, with terrorist groups like the outlawed TTP, the Islamic State group, and Gul Bahadur Group executing attacks with near impunity across the country.
Insurgents in Balochistan have also stepped up their violent activities and formalised a nexus with the TTP.
The incident at the KP police’s Counter-Terrorism Department interrogation centre in Bannu and the botched suicide bombing attempt in Islamabad not only set off alarm bells in the power corridors but also left several countries worried about the security of their nationals.
The US, UK, Australia and Saudi Arabia have issued advisories, asking their nationals to restrict movements in Pakistan and avoid non-essential trips.