During the week under review (6-12 April, 2014), security situation in the country has deteriorated and an increased number of militant activities as well as security forces actions were noticed. Prominent militant activities of the week include Jaffar Express (train) blast in Sibi, Vegetable market attack in Islamabad, low intensity blasts in various parts of Sindh and intra-militant clash in FATA. The most prominent security forces action was an operation by the FC Baluchistan on suspected hideouts of militants allegedly belonging to Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Baluchistan Republican Army (BRA).
A change in tactics of militants in carrying out attacks (vegetable markets) has security, social and economic implications. In addition, claimed but not confirmed reach of Baluchistan based insurgents point to further complication of security situation in the country. Intra-militant clashes indicate that TTP is going through a transitional, if not transformational, phase while Khyber Agency based Lashker-e-Islam’s inclination to join government-TTP talks suggest that security situation in otherwise volatile Khyber Agency (and surrounding areas including Peshawar) might improve in the coming days. But this is based on the assumption that TTP will extend the ceasefire and peace process continues. Low intensity but coordinated attacks by Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) in various parts of Sindh suggest that security situation in the province could also go out of control, if the situation is not pacified through political means.
At the time when Pakistan is facing multi-dimensional threats, a rift between the government and the military establishment is emerging on the issue of trial of Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, which could negatively affect security situation. On the other hand, there is seemingly a deadlock in government-TTP talks and the ceasefire announced by the TTP has already expired on 10 April with no words from the outfit about its possible extension. However, there are no apparent signs that ceasefire would not be extended despite the fact that there is a continuous dialectical process with in the leadership of TTP over the issue of ceasefire extension.
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