June 1, 2023
By Maryam Missal
Pakistan witnessed a rise in the number of terrorist attacks in the 21 months since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. According to a report compiled by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), Pakistan has seen a surge of 73pc in terrorist attacks and a 138% rise in deaths due to terrorist attacks in Pakistan from August 2021 to April 2023.
The report, which includes important recommendations for policymakers, is the culmination of eight expert consultations, extensive monitoring, research, and analysis that the think tank has carried out since July 2021.
Since seizing power in Afghanistan, verified reports have emerged of human rights violations committed by the Afghan Taliban regime, including seizing the rights of women to access education and the workplace, as well as to participate in public life and navigate public spaces. In the process, the militant government has jeopardized peace in neighbouring Pakistan as well.
According to research conducted by PIPS, the Afghan crisis has had a noticeable impact on terrorist violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan, where the number of attacks over these 21 months increased by 92 pc and 81 pc respectively. However, compared to the preceding 21 months before August 2021, the number of terrorist attacks in Punjab, Sindh, and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) had shown a relative drop.
The report warns that these trends will only exacerbate Pakistan’s ongoing security problem with Taliban militancy.
“Prolonged over a longer period, such an environment of insecurity, militancy, and violence can pose serious threats to political and economic stability as well,”
the report states.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has increased its activities in Pakistan. According to the report released by TTP, the outfit accepts responsibility for 76 attacks in Pakistan in May this year. The highest number of attacks were reported across KP: 23 in North Waziristan, 21 in South Waziristan, eight in Khyber and five in Peshawar.
Former senator Afrasiab Khattak at the launch of the report warned that the presence of militant groups in Afghanistan might spark a new battle and a second war of terror, both of which would have dire repercussions for the region. He encouraged Pakistan to alter its approach to Afghanistan, adding that the current one was faulty and would cause issues for Pakistan.