A report by Australia based Institute for Economics and Peace states that Pakistan has recorded a 120 per cent increase in terror related deaths with Balochistan Liberation Army the fastest growing terror group.
Pakistan has overtaken Afghanistan as the country with the most terrorist attacks and death in South Asia, the annual Global Terrorism Index report released by the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace stated.
Pakistan recorded the second largest surge in terror-related deaths worldwide last year, the toll increasing significantly to 643. The number of deaths in Pakistan represented the largest year-on-year increase in the last decade. At least 55 per cent of all terror-related victims were military personnel. It has moved up four places to sixth position on the index due to sharp surge in fatalities, the report stated.
The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) was responsible for 36 per cent of terror-related deaths in Pakistan, which is nine-fold increase from the previous year. According to the report, the BLA has overtaken the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) also known as Pakistan Taliban as the deadliest terror group in Pakistan.
The BLA’s lethality rate has increased to its highest level with attacks killing 7.7 people per attack in 2022, as compared to 1.5 per attack the previous year. Out of the 233 deaths linked to BLA in 2022, 95 per cent were of military personnel.
The BLA is claiming to be fighting for the independence of the Balochistan province bordering Afghanistan and Iran. Pakistan, United States and UK have designated both the BLA and TTP as terror organisations.
According to the report, the deadliest attack attributed to the BLA in 2022 occurred when its gunmen bombed and shot at two separate security posts for the Frontier Corps in Pakistan in February last year. Although no official death toll was confirmed, the BLA claimed that they were responsible for the attacks and that they had killed 195 soldiers across both attacks.
The Global Terrorism Index has noted that terrorism remains primarily concentrated along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, with 63 per cent of attacks and 74 per cent of deaths in the area. According to the report, the increase in terror activities by the TTP and the Islamic State Khorasan have driven the rise in nationwide deaths.
The TTP has been waging terrorist attacks against Pakistani security forces to seek an Islamic Sharia-compliant state like the radical Taliban have established in Afghanistan.
-The Pakistani Taliban is an offshoot and a close ally of the Afghan Taliban. Its leaders and commanders are based in Afghanistan and allegedly plot cross-border terrorism from there.
Attacks by the Islamic State Khorasan occurred along the Afghanistan border with 13 attacks occurring in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, followed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with eight, and Balochistan with two. ISK’s deadliest attack in Pakistan in 2022 occurred in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, when a suicide bombing killed at least 56 people in an attack on a Shia Mosque during Friday prayers, the report stated.