ISLAMABAD: The first half of the current year has witnessed a steady and alarming rise in terror and suicide attacks claiming the lives of 389 people across the country, according to a report released by think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS).
The report reveals that a total of 271 attacks occurred during the period under review, claiming 389 lives and injuring 656 others. The same period last year witnessed 151 attacks, causing 293 deaths and 487 injuries. The figures represent a staggering 79 per cent increase in militant attacks during the first half of 2023 compared to the corresponding period last year.
The second half of 2022 recorded 228 attacks, resulting in 246 fatalities and 349 injuries. Thus, the first six months of 2023 witnessed an 18pc rise in attacks compared to the second half of 2022, accompanied by a 58pc increase in fatalities and 88pc in injuries.
Security forces have also stepped up their response to terrorism, killing at least 236 militants.
KP most affected province, Sindh sees slight decline in attacks, says report
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa emerged as the most affected province during the first half of this year with 174 reported militant attacks, claiming 266 lives and injuring 463 others.
The PICSS data shows a 51pc rise in terror attacks in tribal districts of KP during the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, though there was a 10pc and 15pc decline in fatalities compared to the first and second half of last year, respectively.
Mainland KP experienced a striking 108pc rise in terror incidents during the first six months of 2023 compared to the corresponding period last year and a 25pc increase compared to the second half of 2022.
Balochistan reported 75 terror incidents in the first half of 2023, resulting in 100 deaths and 163 injuries. The data reveals a 103pc increase in terror attacks compared to the same period in the previous year, and a 14pc rise compared to the last six months of 2022. Fatalities in Balochistan rose by 61pc and 64pc in the first six months of the current year compared to the first and second half of 2022, respectively.
Sindh experienced a slight decline in terror incidents, with 13 reported attacks in the first six months of 2023, resulting in 19 deaths and the same number of injuries.
Fatalities in Sindh rose by 27pc compared to the first half of the previous year, while a 171pc increase was observed compared to the last six months of 2022.
Punjab has witnessed a significant rise in terror-related incidents during the first six months of 2023, with eight reported attacks, resulting in six deaths and 10 injuries.
A concerning surge in suicide attacks has also been observed during the first half of 2023, with 13 such attacks resulting in 142 deaths and 309 injuries. In comparison, only five suicide attacks were reported during the corresponding period of the previous year, causing 77 deaths and 225 injuries.
Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2023