ISLAMABAD: After the All Parties Conference in Islamabad, a 40 percent rise was witnessed in terror activities in September while security agencies escalated intelligence operations focusing on Punjab and arresting 143 terrorists, a think tank’s report reveals.
According to Conflict Monitoring Centre’s monthly security report, an unprecedented hike in terror violence was witnessed last month, with 284 people, including 190 civilians, dying.
Security forces lost 39 personnel while 47 militants were also killed, mostly in retaliatory firing by forces. A total of 497 people, including 406 civilians and 84 security personnel, were injured.
The report says security forces beefed up operations and arrested 270 suspects from different parts of the country while militants kidnapped 18 people during September.
The centre recorded 215 violent incidents, including 126 militant attacks and 89 security actions last month and it was for the first time in 2013 that violent incidents crossed the 200-mark.
The militants increased their attacks while forces increased their intelligence-driven targeted operations during the month, resulting an overall increase in violent incidents.
The centre, which monitors only anti-state violence and counter-insurgency operations by Pakistani forces, says out of 126 militant attacks during the month, 49 were in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 35 in Balochistan, 26 in Fata and 16 in Sindh.
The militants killed 278 people, including 189 civilians, 39 security personnel and eight pro-government employees, while 42 militants were killed in retaliatory actions by the forces.
Two reasons can be attributed to this development: Security forces showed an unannounced restraint in operations in Fata against militants after the All Party Conference’s unanimous declaration of peace talks with the militants.
Another reason is that during the month the focus of security forces was on intelligence-driven search operations in mainland Pakistan instead of Fata.
The centre recorded 89 actions by forces against the militants during September and only six of them in Fata.
Security forces conducted 29 actions against militants in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 24 in Punjab, 19 in Balochistan, seven in Sindh and two each in Islamabad and Gilgit Baltistan.
Punjab was the major focus of intelligence-driven operations of security forces where 143 suspected militants, their handlers and sympathisers were arrested during the month.
According to the centre, Al Qaeda-affiliated militants planned a wave of attacks in Islamabad and major cities of Punjab, including Lahore and Rawalpindi.
The forces also saved lives of citizens in at least 27 incidents when bomb disposal squads defused improvised explosive devices.
Sixteen of these devices were defused in KPK, six in Balochistan, four in Fata and one in Sindh.
Security forces’ actions in Fata were all-time low.
The militants increased attacks in Fata and the decline in August of was only a statistical blip as the attacks in Fata once again rose to the level where they were in June.
Forces also arrested 58 suspected militants in Balochistan, 29 in Sindh, 18 in KP, 15 in Fata, four in Islamabad and three in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was the most affected province where 70 per cent of the deaths took place in September.
About 83 percent of those killed in KPK were innocent civilians .
The Sindh province also saw an increase in militant attacks, Karachi being the most affected city in the province.
Highest number of deaths were occurred in bomb blasts during September, followed by militant assaults.
IEDS and assaults constituted 70 percent of total militant attacks in September.