ISLAMABAD: The interior ministry put the total number of fatalities in terrorist incidents since the year 2002 at 12,795 – roughly one-third of the figure claimed by unofficial and media sources.
During the Senate’s question hour on Tuesday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan announced the official figures. So far, at least 12,795 people have been killed and 28,881 others injured in acts of terrorism across the country since 2002, against unofficial claims of more than 40,000.
At least 1,318 were killed in Punjab, 646 people lost their lives in Sindh, 2,810 people fell prey to terror in Balochistan, while the highest number of fatalities was recorded in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa at 3,990. Similarly, 3,851 people were killed in Fata and 180 people in Islamabad Capital Territory.
Nisar said that he is doubtful about the figures adding that as many as 381 people went missing and out of them 93 were recovered. The highest number of missing persons was recorded from Punjab at 153.
The ministry further stated that Rs1,303.53 million were paid in compensation to those killed in terrorist incidents and Rs522 million was allotted to those injured in the terror attacks. The document also disclosed that as many as 16,560 alleged terrorists were arrested from across the country since 2002.
Chaudhry Nisar maintained that he had directed the ministry to withdraw official escort being provided to all former ministers and bureaucrats. He will ensure this order is carried out, as he himself is not enjoying this facility as the incumbent interior minister.
The government is planning to take action against cellular companies for not blocking unregistered SIMs, which are often used to coordinate terrorist attacks.
Nisar informed the House that only 199.569 million SIMs have been verified by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and the remaining are still unregistered, which is a grave concern.
He said that he was shocked at why cellular companies have not taken any measures to block unregistered SIMs. “I will hold a special meeting in this regard and hold all the companies accountable.”
Both the companies and the retailers will be held responsible if any SIM is found unregistered in the future.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2013.