Pakistan records 51% rise in terror attacks in one year after Taliban got power in Afghanistan: Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan witnessed a record 51 per cent increase in terrorist attacks in one year after the Afghan-Taliban got power in Afghanistan in August last year, according to a local think-tank report.

The rag-tag Islamist rebels swarmed the capital Kabul as the US prepared to leave and took over the city without any resistance in a symbolic victory after the world superpower failed to subdue them even after two decades of bloodshed.

“For Pakistan, the perils of a militant regime in Kabul have become unmistakably clear as the country has witnessed a mindboggling 51 per cent increase in the number of terrorist attacks in a single year since the Taliban takeover,” Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS) noted in its report ‘Fallout of Afghan situation and Pakistan’s policy responses’.

As per the PIPS report, 433 people were killed and 719 were wounded in 250 terrorist attacks in Pakistan between August 15, 2021- August 14, 2022.

Likewise, there is a wave of fear and panic among residents of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) over the reported return of TTP militants from Afghanistan in recent months. What’s more concerning is that militants’ movements in the heart of KP such as Peshawar, Swat, Dir, and Tank have also been reported which points to a gradual expansion of militants in the settled districts.

The report says that recently, the police in Lower Dir issued advice to local notables, asking them to take measures for their safety and security in view of the emerging situation in the area. They were advised to reduce unnecessary movements and keep licensed weapons.

Similarly, on August 10, the Swat police issued a statement saying they were undertaking search operations for militants in the mountains of Balasoor and Kabal as well as in Khwazkhela tehsil.

The purpose of these analytical papers is to expand the knowledge base of key stakeholders on Pakistan’s Afghan perspective, and its role and interest in Afghan peace and reconciliation.

“The mindless jubilation over Taliban victory is now turning into a rude shock because the evolving security situation under the erratic Taliban rule indicates Pakistan is about to face yet another ordeal viz-a-viz terrorism,” the think-tank said.

It also noted the UN warned that foreign terror groups based in Afghanistan take the Taliban victory as a motivation to disseminate their propaganda in Central and South Asia, and globally.

Key terror outfits with active presence in Afghanistan include Al-Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K). So far, the Taliban have acted only against the IS-K because it actively challenges the group’s rule.

The publication while quoting the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said more than 300,000 Afghans have fled to Pakistan since the Taliban takeover.

The figure contests Pakistani authorities’ claim that about 60,000 to 70,000 Afghans entered Pakistan since August last year.

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