The day witnessed five incidents related to anti-state violence and counter actions in which one person was killed and another was injured while two suspects were arrested. Out of these five incidents, there were three militant activities all reported from Balochistan. In Dhadar area of Baluchistan, armed militants attacked NATO oil tanker and killed its driver while injuring his cleaner. Militants’ activities in Dera Bugti caused damage to gas pipeline while no casualty was reported. Similarly, militants hurled hand grenade on a police station in Khuzdar area of Balchistan and escaped without causing any human damage.
In one of the two separate activities of the security forces, a suicide bomber was arrested near the house of a PTI’s member of KP provincial assembly Ziaullah Bangish who was apparently the target. Notably, two of the PTI’s MPAs, Farid Khan in Hangu and Imran Mohmand in Mardan, were killed in two separate incidents in June last year. In another activity, Karachi police claimed to have arrested Mufti Muhammad Shakir who has confessed that suicide bomber Naeemullah who attacked and killed SP Chaudary Aslam on 9 June in Karachi was his close ally and disciple and that the attack was orchestrated at the behest of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).
In an incident of targeted killing in Raja Market in Lahore, journalist Raza Rumi’s vehicle was attacked by unidentified shooters killing his driver and injuring his bodyguard. The journalist was safe. Attackers and their motivation are not yet clear. While excluding this incident due to lack of its proper categorization, total number of militant attacks have gone up to three from one the previous day.
If one could attribute all three incidents in Baluchistan to insurgency in the province, no incident in rest of the country indicates a complete silence in KP-FATA based militancy under the prevailing atmosphere of talks between the government and the TTP. A brief silence like this from so-called anti-talks forces or those who are being termed as “talk’s spoiler” cannot be used as evidence to infer any strategic shift until measured in a comparatively longer period of time. Whatever the reason may be, one thing is abundantly clear that this silence would definitely be tested under expected ups-and-downs in government-TTP talks.