A Pakistani think-tank on Sunday said that the Taliban's local arm Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) played a vital role in pushing instability across the country in 2020. The Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) in its report said that TTP and its affiliates were responsible for 67 terrorist attacks or about 46 percent of the total reported attacks in 2020. As per the report, most of these attacks happened in the erstwhile FATA or Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which was merged with neighbouring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in 2018.
The report said that a total of 146 terrorist attacks took place across Pakistan in 2020, including three suicide bombings, adding it is a 36 percent decline from a year before. The report added that these attacks injured over 500 people and claimed a total of 220 lives, a decline of 38 percent from 2019. Out of the 146 attacks, 95 were perpetrated by religiously-inspired militant groups, another 44 by Baloch and Sindhi insurgents, and seven attacks were sectarian-related.
The PIPS report further highlighted that the National Action Plan introduced by Prime Minister Imran Khan's government to counter terrorism in the country has not been fully successful. The report said that the more severe challenge of religious extremism continued in Pakistan, underlining the growing number of mob attacks on minority communities and their places of worship. Last week, a group of people vandalised a Hindu temple in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after authorities gave permission to renovate the premises and also allowed its expansion.
According to PIPS, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa witnessed the highest number of terrorist attacks for any one region of Pakistan, where 79 recorded terrorist attacks (31 in North Waziristan alone) claimed 100 lives and injured at least 206 people. Balochistan remained the second-worst affected region in Pakistan by terrorism with 42 reported attacks in 2020. People of Baloch are demanding an independent state, which has given birth to many militant groups in the region, often blamed for these attacks, mostly on the Pakistani Army.
PIPS further claimed that a total of 125 cross-border attacks took place in Pakistan in 2020, adding most of which originated from India. "A total of 125 cross-border attacks took place in the year 2020 from across Pakistan’s borders with Afghanistan (11 attacks) and India (114). As many as 62 people lost their lives in these attacks, a decrease of about 34 percent from the year before; another 222 were also injured. Those 62 Pakistani citizens killed in cross-border attacks included 42 civilians, 18 army officials, and two FC personnel," the report said.
(Image Credit: AP/Inputs from ANI)