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January 1, 2019

Reports of two think tanks confirm decline in militancy in 2018

Karachi

January 1, 2019

Two security think tanks have confirmed that a significant decline was witnessed during 2018 in militant attacks in Sindh.

In their annual statistics reports, the Islamabad-based think tanks, the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) and Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), maintained that security agencies focused on Sindh during the last year.

CRSS report

According to a preliminary annual statistics compiled by the CRSS, Sindh saw a 57.8 per cent decline in 2018 in the number of casualties in violent incidents.

The highest number of deaths in terrorist incidents and other violent occurrences in 2018 was reported in Balochistan, which is 407. It was followed by 208 deaths in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and 192 fatalities in Sindh.

A total of 2,333 people died in violent incidents in the country during 2018, which was 45 per cent less than casualties reported in similar incidents in 2017. The biggest decline was observed in Punjab where deaths in violent incidents dropped from 469 to 146 with a decrease of 69 per cent. A decrease of 57.8, 52.3 and 16.1 per cent was reported in deaths due to terrorist incidents in Sindh, Fata and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa respectively.

“All forms of violence and counter-violence witnessed a significant decline in the number of fatalities this year,” reads the report. It also maintained that the decrease in fatalities from suicide attacks was marginal during 2018 and suicide attacks remained the biggest source of casualties in the country.

Muhammad Nafees, a CRSS’s research fellow based in Karachi, said Karachi experienced a wave of terror acts at the end of 2018.

“Sindh Rangers-led targeted operation proved successful in restoring peace in Karachi, the country’s commercial capital. But in the last two months of 2018, Karachi has witnessed six acts of terrorism in a span of five weeks,” Nafees told The News.

Law enforcement officials believe that proscribed separatist groups from Balochistan and Sindh have forged alliances to increase terror attacks in Karachi. They also suspect that the resurgence of the MQM-London and internal fissure among Mohajir ethnic political parties have also played part in the recent terror attacks.

PICSS report

According to a study conducted by the PICSS, 2018 saw a remarkable reduction of 45 per cent in the militant attacks in Pakistan.

The security think tank claimed that Sindh and Balochistan were the two provinces that were mainly focused by the security forces during 2018. In Sindh, the forces conducted 50 operations in which 13 suspected militants were killed and 102 arrested.

The PICSS recorded 14 terrorist attacks in Sindh in which 21 people were killed and 20 injured. The study also showed that the average figure of militant attacks per month declined from 35 to 19 in 2018. It is worth noting that the average militant attacks per month have been declining every year since 2014.

In 2014, 134 militant attacks occurred on average every month, which dropped to 59 in 2015, 42 in 2016 and 35 in 2017.

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