QUETTA: Official documents show that acts of terrorism as well as sectarian and targeted killings have gone down by 50 per cent in Balochistan over the last two years under Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch’s administration.
Statistics released by Balochistan’s Home Department show that 27 people have been killed and 13 others wounded in incidents of sectarian killing till September this year. This number is significantly lower than the figures for 2014, when 91 people were killed and 129 others wounded. It is a marked improvement also from the 2013 figures when 258 people were killed and 478 people were injured in similar incidents.
Sectarian killings have remained the biggest challenge as from 2010 to 2015 as many as 721 people were killed in 154 incidents. The Shia Hazara community has remained the prime target in these attacks.
In 2015, there has been a significant decline not only in sectarian violence but also in attacks on settlers – mostly Punjabi- and Urdu-speaking residents of Balochistan. In 2010, around 113 settlers were killed. However, this figure dropped in 2014 to 91 while in 2015 around 36 settlers were targeted.
Moreover, the casualties of law enforcement agencies’ members have also decreased by about 39 per cent. In the last five years, as many as 289 Frontier Corps (FC) personnel and 316 policemen have laid down their lives in the line of duty, while 539 security officials were wounded.
There has also been a general decline in heinous or serious crimes. In 2015, as many as 832 people were murdered in the province, while in 2014 around 1,330 persons were killed. In 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively 1,253 people, 1,477 people and 1,272 people were killed. In 2010, the figure stood at around 1,095 people.
The number of robberies has also fallen. In 2015, around 233 cases of robbery have so far been reported as compared to 330 cases in 2014. The number of reported incidents of robberies during 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 were respectively 387, 400, 384 and 266.
The year 2015 is also better so far in terms of kidnapping for ransom cases. As many as 220 cases of abduction have so far been reported in 2015 while in the year 2014 some 373 such cases were reported. Around 433 people, 508 people, 420 people and 346 people were reportedly kidnapped in the four years from 2013 to 2010.
There has also been a decline in the incidents of bomb blasts and rocket attacks. In 2015, around 228 explosions and 118 rocket attacks have taken place so far. These figures are far less than 435 bomb and 368 rocket attacks of 2014, 483 bomb and 372 rocket attacks of 2013, 304 explosions and 172 rocket attacks of 2012 and 392 bomb and 203 rocket attacks of 2011.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Durrani said the better situation is result of the implementation of the National Action Plan against terror. “The government-backed crackdowns against miscreants have helped to decrease the incidents of sectarian violence in Balochistan,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2015.