After a consistent decline since 2015, violence in Pakistan increased by an alarming 42 per cent in 2021, according to the Center for Research and Security Studies Annual Security Report 2021.
Violence related casualties in Pakistan declined at a steady rate since 2015, plateaued somewhat in the year prior, but seem to have accelerated dramatically in 2021 again, the Islamabad think tank said.
With an increase of roughly 42 per cent in 2021, Pakistan suffered 853 fatalities (up from 600 last year), and 1,690 injuries, directly linked to violence-related incidents.
Nearly 75 per cent of all violence-related fatalities were recorded from two provinces – KP (including FATA) and Balochistan. Of the total fatalities from violence in the country, Punjab province accounted for 8 per cent, followed by Sindh.
Compared to the last year’s fatalities, all regions except ICT and GB suffered an exponential surge in violence with Balochistan accounting for a net 80 per cent increase in violence-related fatalities.
Commensurately, both security operations and terror attacks increased this year. A total of 146 security operations were carried out during this year leaving 298 outlaws dead – a rise of more than 40 per cent against the last year’s figures.
In contrast, there were 403 terror attacks compared to last year’s 260 attacks. Four suicide attacks took place this year that left 20 persons dead as compared to two suicide attacks in last year that took 10 lives.
An alarming upsurge of over 41 per cent was observed this year in the fatalities of Pakistan security personnel, the think tank said.
Last year, there was a decline of 18 per cent in security personnel’s fatalities. Outlaws (including militants, insurgents, and criminals) suffered a 26.5 per cent increase in fatalities while the civilians accounted for the largest number of the victims of violence. As a whole, the combined losses of civilian and security personnel’s lives were 74 per cent of the total fatalities while the outlaws, the main perpetrators of violence, had suffered one fourth of the total fatalities – a rise of militancy that can be attributed to the success of the Taliban in Afghan that had bolstered the morale of Pakistani militants operating from within and outside of the country, the report said.
Afghan militants and even a member of the Afghan Taliban were reported to have been involved in violence in Pakistan that left 15 persons dead.
Mob violence brought about by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) protests resulted in the deaths of 13 people with another 1,056 persons wounded, mostly policemen. Inspired by the TLP protests, some teenagers also took the law into their hands and carried out violent attacks in the name of religion. One teenager killed an Ahmadi homeopathic doctor in Bazidkhel area of Peshawar and two others wounded an Ahmadi Head Master in Layyah chanting slogan of ‘Labbaik ya Rasul Allah’.
(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at Sanjeev.email@example.com)