Byline: Imran Mukhtar
ISLAMABAD -- In 2019, anti-state militant attacks in Pakistan dropped to the lowest level during the last 15 years while 44 percent decline in suicide attacks was observed as compared with the year 2018, claims a non-government think tank on national security.
According to Annual Security Assessment Report for 2019 - released by Islamabad-based Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) - the militant attacks in the country have dropped below the level of 2004, the year when militant attacks had picked up momentum in retaliation to the deployment of regular troops of Pakistan Army in erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The militants carried out 159 attacks during the year 2019 in which 305 people were killed including 143 security forces personnel and 129 civilians, says the report. In 111 reported security forces actions, 77 militants, seven security forces personnel and four civilians were killed during the year.
Overall, 393 people lost their lives including 150 security forces personnel, 133 civilians and 110 militants in 270 violent incidents (including security forces actions and militant attacks) while 687 people were injured including 506 civilians and 178 security forces personnel. This is the second consecutive year where the human losses of the security forces exceeded the losses of the militants. Previously, this pattern was observed only in 2002 and 2003, while 2004 had seen an almost equal share of the losses, the report claims.
The annual repor quoting the PICSS Militancy Database, says that the average of militant attacks per month has further declined in 2019 to 13 attacks per month, which was 19 in 2018, 35 in 2017, 43 in 2016, 59 in 2015 and 134 in 2014. 'The sharp decline in the militant attacks had started after OperationZarb-e-Azb in 2014 and National Action Plan at the start of 2015. Operation RaddulFasad has further pushed the militancy to the lowest level since 2003.'
The year 2019 saw a 31 percent decline in militant attacks, a 48 percent decline in resultant deaths and a 31 percent decline in the number of injured in these attacks. April was the deadliest month in which 50 people died in militant attacks while January 2019 witnessed the highest number of militant attacks.
According to the report, suicide attacks have also dropped below the level of 2007 when such attacks had got momentum after the Red Mosque Operation in 2007. The year 2019 witnessed 10...