In terrorism risk, Pakistan second only to Somalia

Published: November 16, 2010
Over 2,000 people have been killed in deadly attacks in Pakistan since 2007

Over 2,000 people have been killed in deadly attacks in Pakistan since 2007

Over 2,000 people have been killed in deadly attacks in Pakistan since 2007
Debris at the scene of a suicide car bomb blast in Karachi, 11 November 2010. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD ADEEL

Somalia and Pakistan are ranked first and second among 16 countries at extreme risk from terrorism, according to a study published by a British global risks advisory firm.

Somalia has replaced Iraq as the state most at risk from terrorist attacks, according to global analysts Maplecroft, which sees threats also rising in Russia, Greece and Yemen but falling in India and Algeria.

Pakistan, where more than 2,000 people have been killed in a wave of deadly attacks by militants since 2007, moved up one place to become the country second most at risk, while neighbouring Afghanistan slipped from second place to fourth.

A statement by the consultancy about its latest Terrorism Risk Index said increased dangers seen in Somalia and Yemen were caused by al Qaeda-associated violence while those in Russia stemmed from attacks by separatists from the North Caucasus.

The largest change in the rankings was Greece, which moved from 57 to 24 to become the European country most at risk, a trend the consultancy said was due to violent left-wing groups.

Iraq, where sectarian carnage unleashed after the 2003 US-led invasion is receding, is now in third place.

Security experts say the global risks posed by militant groups were most recently underscored by al Qaeda’s claim of responsibility for the planting of explosives on cargo planes flying to the US from Yemen last month.

Maplecroft said Somalia suffered 556 terrorist incidents, in which 1,437 people were killed and 3,408 wounded, between June 2009 and June 2010, the period on which the rankings are based.

Yemen, across the Gulf of Aden, worries the West because it is home to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which claimed the failed cargo plane attack and a botched plot by a Nigerian student to bomb an airliner over Detroit on Dec 25 2009.

The UK-based company’s index rates 196 countries on the number, frequency and intensity of terrorism attacks, plus the likelihood of mass casualties occurring. While based on historical data, it is intended as a forward-looking assessment.

The index’s reporting period partly overlaps with calendar 2009 data used in a previous ranking issued in February 2010.

None of the main Western economies fall within the ranking’s high or extreme risk bracket. The United States is at 33, France 44 and Britain 46, all in the medium risk category, while Canada at 67, and Germany at 70 are rated as low risk.

The index lists 16 countries as extreme risk, topped by Somalia, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan and followed by the Palestinian territories in fifth place, Colombia 6, Thailand 7, the Philippines 8, Yemen 9 and Russia 10.

The company said that an increase in risk in Russia, which rose to 10 from 15, was due to a rise in big attacks by separatists from the North Caucasus including twin suicide bombings on the Moscow metro in March 2010 which killed 40 people.

Other major movers in the index included Algeria, which fell to 36 from 7, and India, which dropped to 15 from 6.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (37)

  • Ali
    Nov 15, 2010 - 12:21PM

    Wow at least we are progressing in some thing…. Recommend

  • @@
    Nov 15, 2010 - 12:41PM

    Sad, pathetic, disturbing, annoying but not hopeless after reading that Iraq got the third place now. Hopefully Pakistan’s position will lower soon on this Extreme Risky Countries List. Recommend

  • syed
    Nov 15, 2010 - 1:24PM

    Atleast we are beating India in something…Recommend

  • Hafiz shah Ali
    Nov 15, 2010 - 1:37PM

    Last year Pakistan was Ranked 3rd.
    Now we are 2nd. Things are getting bad , I pray that situation improves as we move forward.

    There has to be a solution to this unfortunate mess this country is in. It is sad ……………Recommend

  • Ali Imran Tiwana
    Nov 15, 2010 - 1:51PM

    Just another propaganda to further isolate Pakistan from the rest of the world. ALL HAIL THE KINGPINS. Recommend

  • Rana Amjad
    Nov 15, 2010 - 1:52PM

    Jewish Report! Pakistan is the safest country on this planet. Conspiracies against Ummah a Islami. Rubbish & nonsence. We are the best in this world.Recommend

  • Jafakush
    Nov 15, 2010 - 2:05PM

    Holbrooke is here to break Pakistan just like he did for Yugoslavia. This propaganda and continuous attacks to incite Shia vs. Suuni, Barelvi vs. Deoband, Muslim vs. Ahmadis, Pathans vs. Urdu speaking, Balouchis vs. state, Hazara vs. Pushtuns is backed via international corporate media, private contractors and non-transparent agencies.

    My brothers and sister this is going to increase they will put negative information, lies and anything to keep investment out of our country. There are two ways to destroy country, either bomb them (Afghanistan) or make the citizens kill each other (Iraq). For us they are using the latter technique.

    Alhamdulilah despite their effort only handful of people have taken the bait and few Pakistani fighting Pakistani. I hope we remain united in face of our hidden enemies.

    For the record the biggest killer is heart disease and not terrorism.Recommend

  • AA
    Nov 15, 2010 - 2:08PM

    this was not our warRecommend

  • sarah
    Nov 15, 2010 - 2:10PM

    and why does this come as no surprise whatsoever. i think they should rank pakistani’s as the most courageous nation to continue to dwell and make the most of being here!Recommend

  • Salim
    Nov 15, 2010 - 2:46PM

    @ Rana Amjad….. what hole do you live in?Recommend

  • Stephen
    Nov 15, 2010 - 3:12PM

    Being a Solar Engineer, I have travelled a fare bit around the world especially the ‘Muslim’ world and I really find all this negativity around Pakistan quite incomprehensible and quite daunting! Earlier this year I wne to Algeria (for business) and trust me, I feel far safer in Pakistan than I do there! The host company specifically told me NOT to leave the hotel compounds, if I should hen make sure I do so only during day time…

    In Pakistan, I have never been told this – just be conscious of your surrounding is the advise.

    Not being a Pakistani, I have been interested in politics for quite a while and having actually been fortunate enough to have travelled to Pakistan and seen at first hand the warmth and friendlines of Pakistani people. Quite frankly, some of the defeatest attitudes I regularly read here are shameful for a country which truly has so much to offer!

    All I can say is if we, British, had demonstrated this negativity in WW2, I doubt if at all we could have overcome the Nazi Juggernaut and yes, I second Sarah, maybe the world should concentrate how you guys are still smiling and bearing the corruption negativity and spcial treatment Pakistan is being dealt by some people…

    Good Luck Pakistan! with some of your paranoid negative peopel – you need it!Recommend

  • Shakil Ahmed
    Nov 15, 2010 - 3:18PM

    Its been quite funny that the Afghanistan got 4th and we jumped to 2nd position. However we are facing all these because we helped America to be in Afghanistan.

    It is not war against terrorism, it is the War Against Pakistan.

    Shakil Ahmed

  • Rizwan T Khan
    Nov 15, 2010 - 4:54PM

    Yup and this all because of you Britishers and Americans and our pathetic greedy politicians. We are killing our own brothers to satisfy your thirst for blood.

    And Pakistani nation is the most brave nation who still stands tall against these attacks by RAW/CIA/MIG5/Taliban etc etc or whoever!Recommend

  • Nov 15, 2010 - 5:19PM

    Delivering the Hajj Khutba (sermon) to the Hujjaj (pilgrims) assembled in Arafat to perform a key ritual of Hajj, Mufti Azam Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah said Terrorism is Haram (forbidden) in Islam, and such acts should not be reciprocated in any term.He said that Islam believes in co-existence and harmony. The door of repentance remains open in our religion, it never closes. Recommend

  • Ashwin
    Nov 15, 2010 - 5:52PM

    I concur with stephen. If the situation is that bad how come people are still sitting and commenting on these websites rather then running to safer places, agreed Pakistan has more then it’s share of problems.But i see that people are ready to fight for their country.Some bad decisions have brought them here, some good decisions will take them out of it.It is that simple.Problem is we Sub-continent people are very laid back we take our time to get used to new thought process.Look at India(my country) which went almost went bankrupt in the 90’s, we were forced to change our policy of protectionist economy, the funny part is the change was brought by the very congress which pursued socialist ideal like some holy grail. As for terror elements every nation has a fair share of them, problem is when these elements terrorize people of another of country, that hurts Pakistan’s identity.Dont hurt your countryRecommend

  • Qasim
    Nov 15, 2010 - 5:56PM

    by this theory, if neuclear bomb is fired on England by some country then the number of deaths would definitely be greater than the number of deaths recorded in Pakistan due to external terrorist forces, then UK will become the No. One in the list of risky or dangrous to live countries. we are the strongest of the nationes who is fighting against these forces and also against such reports with solid will power, no other country can survive with such circumstances i can bet!!!!Recommend

  • Tahera
    Nov 15, 2010 - 6:33PM

    Thanks for your comment, Stephen. It is considerate of you to put forth a viewpoint that is neither politically motivated, nor popular, but speaks objectively and truthfully of a positive personal experience. The sentiment against Muslims in general – and Pakistanis in particular – post 9/11 is largely negative and it is always a pleasure to see somebody make an effort to counter that simply because it is the right thing to do.

    We are indeed a warm and friendly people, and appreciate very much all the help the UK Government has provided, and continues to provide, in the aftermath of devastating floods. It is also heartening to see the efforts the UK government is making to encourage cohesion in it’s own society among various faith groups. Alienation and isolation of large sections of communities helps no one in the long run.

    Thanks again, and may you always feel welcomed and safe in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Klues
    Nov 15, 2010 - 6:34PM

    Terrorism is also known as illegal warfare or Hirabah in Shariah. Recommend

  • Klues
    Nov 15, 2010 - 6:42PM

    Stephen, I like what you said about Pakistan, thank you. Recommend

  • Tahera
    Nov 15, 2010 - 6:44PM

    Ashwin, thanks for your comment. I have to say, that’s a very fair analysis. Learning from past mistakes, while acknowledging one’s own share in them, takes a lot of courage. Pakistan is run on adhoc basis by whosoever comes to power. Our leaders don’t feel they have a stake in their country and are eager to make themsleves very rich in a short time by plundering our resources before their exit song plays. Change can only come from within. It is coming for sure but, unfortunately, very slowly. Recommend

  • Maulana Halwa
    Nov 15, 2010 - 7:15PM

    People of Pakistan are quite resilient and have survived difficult times before, example The Partition wars, Earth quake etc. If the criteria for measurement is by death count then I believe it is wrong. There has been greater numbers of death caused by terrorism in Africa, Iraq, Mexico and of course State terrorism by Israel. This sounds like pressuring Pakistan to crack down on Militant.

    As for Rana Amjad letter, I don’t know what you are smoking but it must be Good.Recommend

  • Baseer
    Nov 15, 2010 - 7:48PM

    India should be the first on the list of sponsors of terrorism, considering what they do in Kashmir, Assam & other parts. It is all their propaganda along with so called NRIs who have infiltrated the White house. Recommend

  • Aamir Ali
    Nov 15, 2010 - 7:54PM

    yawn….every week some study is released with a startling revelations when it comes to terrorism! Been going on for 9 years now.Recommend

  • Zulfiqar
    Nov 15, 2010 - 8:15PM

    As a matter of fact things are a little, note I said a little, better than last year. When there was a suicide bomber going off everyday and sometimes even twice a day, we’re now seeing one or two such incidents a month. But that is of course not to say that we’re very safe and face no terror.Recommend

  • Humanity
    Nov 16, 2010 - 12:30AM

    @Maulana Halwa
    don’t know what you are smoking but it must be Good.”

    Besides halwa, you seem to also indulge in a good smoke. What about saalum barqa in a couple of day ?? :):)

    Pakistanis are indeed a resilient bunch. Now if only they would ditch their begging bowl, and find some honor to get back on their own feet themselves, that would really make every one overjoyed and thrilled. This nation can do it !Recommend

  • Bean
    Nov 16, 2010 - 1:05AM

    @ Qasim… Congratulations on your ability. Keep it upRecommend

  • Nov 16, 2010 - 7:09AM

    Thats ok we will be number one soon – we are battery producing mullahs through these madrassas and like chickens they will hatchRecommend

  • Someone
    Nov 16, 2010 - 8:40AM

    I dont think it should be judged by number of deaths. Pakistan is much more pouplated than Afg and Iraq and hence when a bomb goes off, 50 – 60 ppl die as compared to 20-25 in AfghanistanRecommend

  • Tahir Ashraf
    Nov 16, 2010 - 7:08PM

    Very upsettingRecommend

  • Subair.M
    Nov 16, 2010 - 11:55PM

    Who cares for their absurd, irrational and biased ‘rating’? These self-styled ‘British’ think-tanks delude themselves that they are an authority on assessing international scenario, which is just another reflection of their third-rate imperialistic outlook. Countries like Pakistan should discard such ‘assessments’ with utter contempt and scorn they deserve. Further, the slavish mentality of attaching undue importance to such ‘surveys’ and their fads must stop, at least among the educated and informed.Recommend

  • Anwar Hasan
    Nov 17, 2010 - 12:03AM

    Pakistan has been blessed with the best leaders. These leaders don’t care about the country. As long as their children and money are abroad.

    Why should Allah bless Pakistan???Recommend

  • rehman
    Nov 17, 2010 - 5:11AM

    its nt shameful at all..we are at risk and we know it and we cant deny it. we are not safe ,pakistanis stop saying that. i live in the most posh are of lahore in model town and i had a bomb go off 1km away from my home in march this year. how can i say i am safe when i am not. i will inshallah be leaving this country very soon, in a year or two, cuz i cant stand it anymore.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Nov 17, 2010 - 5:41AM

    @Baseer: “India should be the first on the list of sponsors of terrorism, considering what they do in Kashmir, Assam & other parts. It is all their propaganda along with so called NRIs who have infiltrated the White house.”

    Baseer – why do you Pakistanis keep bringing up Assam ? Pray tell me what does India do in Assam ? You know, Assam IS India/Bharat, just like other states are.Recommend

  • Sikandar
    Nov 17, 2010 - 8:37AM

    HA ha its funny reading all the comments, I do not know how people are cock sure. I better not comment when I am not sure. I only know that if there is a smoke then there is a good chance for fire and if someone warns me of the smoke I try and stop it.

    Cheerio guysRecommend

  • inayat
    Nov 17, 2010 - 12:07PM

    Pakistan has achieved this with lot of support from its education and highly active intellectuals in that country. The leadership civil, army and others played very active role in uplifting the standard of living for Pakistani people. This ratings reflects Pakistan’s effort in achieving what it deserved.
    Pakistani people should be appreciated for the patience and tolerance for years, which made this possible.

    You can wake up a person who is sleeping, but not the one who is acting like slept.Recommend

  • Baseer
    Nov 17, 2010 - 8:12PM


    “Baseer – why do you Pakistanis keep bringing up Assam ? Pray tell me what does India do in Assam ? You know, Assam IS India/Bharat, just like other states are.”

    Ask that to ULFA please. Also, by this arguement, you are implying Kashmir is not Bharat. Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Nov 18, 2010 - 3:16AM

    @Baseer: “Ask that to ULFA please. Also, by this arguement, you are implying Kashmir is not Bharat.”

    Ask ULFA what ?

    Before you show camaraderie with ULFA, do know that it started off as an organization to rid Assam of despised MUSLIM illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Somewhere along the line, they lost track of their mission, got seduced by money, went berserk basically attacking their own people ( Indians ). Recommend

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