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Escalation in Intelligence Driven Operations in Mainland Pakistan

2013 chart

According to Conflict Monitoring Center’s monthly Security Report, an unprecedented hike in anti-state violence has been observed during last month.  284 people including 190 civilians have died during last month. The security forces lost their 39 personnel while 47 militants were also killed, most of them in retaliatory firing by security forces. 497 people including 406 civilians  and 84 security forces personnel were injured. Security forces have also beefed up their operations against militants and arrested 270 suspects from different parts of the country while the militants kidnapped 18 people during the month of September 2013.The Conflict Monitoring Center recorded 215 violent incidents including 126 militant attacks and 89 security forces actions during last month and it was for the first time in 2013 that recorded number of violent incidents crossed over 200 figure. A 40 percent hike was recorded in violent incidents. The militants increased their violent attacks while security forces increased their intelligence driven targeted operations during the month which resulted in an overall increase in total number of recorded violent incidents.

The CMC’s report which monitors only anti-state violence and counter insurgency operations by Pakistani security forces states that out of 126 militant attacks during the month, 49 were recorded in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 35 in Baluchistan, 26 in FATA and 16 in Sindh. The militants killed 278 people including 189 civilians, 39 security forces personnel and eight pro-government  Razakars while 42 of the militants were also killed in retaliatory actions by the security forces.

It was noted that 98 percent of all insurgency related deaths during the month of September 2013 occurred in  militant attacks and only two percent died in security forces actions. Two reasons can be attributed to this development. According to CMC’s sources, the security forces showed an unannounced restraint in their operations in FATA against militants after All Party Conference’s unanimous declaration of peace talks with the militants. Another reason is that during the month it was observed that major focus of security forces was on intelligence driven search operations in mainland Pakistan instead of FATA. The CMC recorded 89 security forces actions against the militants during the month of September 2013 and only six of them took place in FATA. Pakistani security forces conducted 29 actions against militants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 24 in Punjab, 19 in Baluchistan,  seven in Sindh, two each in Islamabad and Gilgit-Baltistan. Punjab was major focus of intelligence driven operations of the security forces  from where 143 suspected militants, their handlers and sympathizers were arrested during the month. According to CMC’s sources, the Al-Qaeda affiliated militants had planned a wave of attacks in Islamabad and major cities of Punjab including Lahore and Rawalpindi. The forces thwarted the plan and huge amount of ammunition, communication equipment, explosives and other material was seized. The forces also saved lives of the citizens in at least 27 incidents when the Bomb Disposal Squads (BDS) diffused planted IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). 16 of these IEDs were defused in KPK, six in Baluchistan, four in FATA and one in Sindh. Security forces actions FATA were recorded all-time low.  On the other hand, the militants increased their attacks in FATA and the decline during the month of August was only a statistical blip as the attacks in FATA once again rose to the level where they were in June 2013.

The forces also arrested 58 suspected militants from Baluchistan, 29 from Sindh, 18 from KPK, 15 from FATA, 4 from Islamabad and three from Gilgil-Baltistan.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was most affected province where 70 percent of the deaths took place during the month. 83 percent of those killed in KPK were innocent civilians while Sindh province also saw an increase in militant attacks Karachi being most affected city of the province. Highest number of deaths was  occurred in bomb blasts (IEDs) during the month followed by physical militant assaults. IEDS and physical militant assaults constitute 70 percent of the total militant attacks in September 2013. Annual Table is here

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