Report indicates drastic increase in sectarian violence in 2012

Published: January 6, 2013
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Meanwhile, the overall number of terrorist attacks and consequent casualties declines. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Meanwhile, the overall number of terrorist attacks and consequent casualties declines. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Meanwhile, the overall number of terrorist attacks and consequent casualties declines. PHOTO: AFP/FILE Meanwhile, the overall number of terrorist attacks and consequent casualties declines. DESIGN: FAIZAN DAWOOD

ISLAMABAD: The past year witnessed a 53% increase in sectarian violence, according to an annual report released on Friday by the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS). Non-sectarian attacks, on the other hand, decreased by 20%.

Suicide attacks

The number of suicide attacks across the country fell by 27%. There were 33 suicide attacks in 2012 compared to 45 in 2011. About 54% of all suicide attacks in Pakistan in 2012 were concentrated in K-P.

Drone attacks

US drone strikes and the consequent killings also recorded a 40% decrease. The report indicated that 38 of the 45 drone attacks struck militants and their hideouts in North Waziristan. Six drone strikes were reported in South Waziristan and one in Orakzai Agency.

Cross-border attacks

The number of cross-border attacks and clashes decreased from 84 in 2011 to 79 in 2012. However, the casualties in these attacks increased by 25%.

“Most of the cross-border attacks and clashes (70%) were reported from Pakistan’s western border with Afghanistan, including attacks reportedly carried out by militants of the TTP’s Swat chapter hiding in Afghanistan’s Kunar and Nuristan provinces,” said the PIPS report.

Sectarian violence

Karachi, Quetta, Kurram Agency and Gilgit were the hardest hit, witnessing more than 85% of all terrorist incidents in 2012, while the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) emerged as a major actor responsible for the prevalent instability.

Furthermore, Balochistan remained the focal point of nationalist insurgency and sectarian violence, witnessing 474 terrorist attacks, the highest for any region. The Taliban-infested and militancy-hit Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) remained second and third most volatile regions, with 456 and 388 terrorist attacks reported, respectively. Meanwhile, 187 terrorist attacks were reported in Karachi and 28 in other parts of Sindh; 26 in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B)’ 17 in Punjab and one in Islamabad.

“Militant, nationalist insurgent and violent sectarian groups carried out 1,577 terrorist attacks across Pakistan in 2012, which claimed 2,050 lives and injured 3,822 people,” the PIPS report stated.

Overall casualties

The report stated that 5,047 people were killed and another 5,688 were injured in 2,217 attacks in 2012. These casualties resulted from all terrorist attacks, operations by the security forces and their clashes with militants, ethno-political violence, drone attacks, inter-tribal and inter-militants clashes, sectarian clashes, religious and communal violence, cross-border attacks and clashes, criminal gangs’ clashes with one another and with the security forces counted together.

Comparatively, in 2011, there were 2,895 such attacks and 7,107 consequent fatalities.

From this, at least183 incidents of ethno-political violence across Pakistan – 176 of them reported from Karachi alone – claimed the lives of 288 people and injured another 182 in 2012.

Furthermore, the number of militants killed decreased by 34%; the number of civilians killed in 2012 declined by 25% and the number of those injured fell by 7%. Fatalities among security forces personnel also decreased by 16% and injuries by about 38%.

On the whole, Karachi and interior Sindh were the only regions where incidence of terrorist attacks increased in 2012. The number of terrorist attacks in K-P fell by 11%, in Balochistan by 26%, in Fata by 42% and in Punjab by 43%.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Z.Khan
    Jan 6, 2013 - 12:26PM

    An extremely dangerous trend ultimately leading to disintegration of nation. It would have been much better, basing on these figures, the PIPS could have suggested remedial measures also. Except for limited English print media, none is coming up with concrete plans to curb this menace of sectarian extremism.

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  • Jibran
    Jan 6, 2013 - 8:13PM

    Unfortunately, the mom in the above picture is not a DSP in police. His son didn’t give his life in a metropolitan. He didn’t have flashy cars, and photographs to create postcards to be posted on Facebook. Being a religious and ethnic outcast, his blood was too thin to be picked up by the righteous social media, or our angel like CJ, as it provided little ammo for bashing the government. Alas! there will be never be justice for him.

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  • Musings
    Jan 6, 2013 - 8:18PM

    “53% increase in sectarian violence”. Note the emphasis on misleading term ‘sectarian violence’. The report shd say it clearly that a particular sect, of Shia Islam, is the main target. That means 53% increase in the one-sided genocidal massacre of Shias.

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  • syed baqar ahsan
    Jan 6, 2013 - 9:17PM

    it is only genocide of Shia but still all are adamant to declare it is sectarian killing so with this mind set we are going bad to worst.

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  • FJ
    Jan 6, 2013 - 9:52PM

    @Jibran: well said and I feel so sad to look at this pic :(Recommend

  • FJ
    Jan 6, 2013 - 10:00PM

    All people who say that word ‘Shia’ should not be used when reporting a killing should go and read this report before making such dumb statements!

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  • salman
    Jan 6, 2013 - 10:49PM

    The punjabi rightists have decided to stay quiet and ignore since its not effecting them. Their leaders PML-N are allied with banned outfits and have openly surrendered to the extremists whilst PTI says to talk to the murderers of thousands of Pakistanis from (sindhi , baluch & pushtun)

    To take an action we need a platform and first of all identify and recognize the enemy inside us by all if not done We will head fast towards total anarchy and chaos and this country will disintegrate

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  • Omer
    Jan 7, 2013 - 12:27AM

    It is said that sectarianism in Pakistan is being funded by Saudis/Arab Emirates. Well sadly, we’re responsible for it as well since we don’t stand up against it. Our society lacks humanity. There’s some kind of sickness prevailing around us. Killing Polio campaigners/lady health workers, committing Shia genocide, target killings..there are countless issues. Ever saw anyone getting convicted? A vast majority is totally confused as to what should be our stance over terrorism. Khof e Khuda kero. Is there any doubt? I have seen many ‘educated/so called enlightened’ people who would give everything to convince you that TTP and banned military outfits are doing noble deed. Imagine, how many people are dead just because our politicians, military, law enforcement agencies, civil bureaucracy is silent about all these killings. It’s just very depressing.
    Let us all promise that we will discourage sectarianism in our society. We will stand up against it. Jaaago yar!! before it’s too late.

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  • happens
    Jan 7, 2013 - 2:06AM

    Forget these and move forward.But anti-religion people sudn’t be spared.

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  • Raj - USA
    Jan 7, 2013 - 2:42AM

    @Omer: You say:
    “It is said that sectarianism in Pakistan is being funded by Saudis/Arab Emirates. Well sadly, we’re responsible for it as well since we don’t stand up against it. Our society lacks humanity. There’s some kind of sickness prevailing around us. …………………………….”

    Your comments remind me of a joke I heard long time ago.

    A man was having problem of sexual addiction. So, he went to a psychiatrist.
    The psychiatrist wanted to evaluate him. He told the man that he shall show some pictures and the man has to say what comes to his mind first. The psychiatrist showed him a picture of a waterfall. The man replied it reminds him of a naked girl. The psychiatrist then showed him a picture of an animal. The man replied again that it reminds him of a naked woman. The psychiatrist then showed the man a blank sheet of paper. The man replied it agains reminds him of a naked girl. The psychiatrist told the man that he has a serious sexual addiction problem and needs to be treated. The man got wild and angry and told the psychiatrist “for god’s sake, who was showing me all those dirty pictures?”

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  • yajsingh
    Jan 7, 2013 - 3:14AM

    First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    Get the message?

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  • Omer
    Jan 7, 2013 - 9:37AM

    @Raj – USA:

    Okay. Anything else?

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  • Ali Zaid
    Jan 8, 2013 - 10:56AM

    @Jibran
    You said it all bro! Well done.

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