Monitoring Anti-State Armed Conflicts in South Asia
According to Conflict Monitoring Center’s Quarterly Security Report, during the first quarter of the year 2012 anti-state violence in FATA has seen significant reduction while the anti-state militant attacks in Baluchistan have increased by almost two times as compared to the last quarter of the year 2011. The security situation in Khyber Pakhtunekhwa province further deteriorated during the first quarter of the year. Pakistani Security forces have managed to bring violence in Bajore Agency under control. The militants in Mohmand Agency are forced to relocate their bases in Afghanistan and the development has resulted in considerable decline in violence in the area. Khyber Agency has turned out to be most troubled area of FATA during first quarter of the year.
Counter insurgency actions of Pakistani security forces mainly remained focused in Orakzai, Khyber and Kurram Agencies. Despite alarming increase of anti-state violence, the security forces deployed in Baluchistan failed to launch any proper response to the militants.
The ratio of deaths between militants and security personnel remained 61:39 out of 100. After militants the biggest causalities were of civilians which remained almost half of the total militants killed in the first quarter. It is hard to establish the exact figures of civilians died because of militants and of security forces unconnectedly, however overwhelming numbers of resultant civilians’ deaths are the actions or reactions of the militants.
Parameter of success for the both sides was number of killings; reason which has kept numbers of killed and injured high. Islamic extremists love to lay their lives for “the sacred” cause and their philosophy added to the violence and resulting deaths and injuries on both sides.
Militancy in FATA have been remained the breeding ground for militants since 9/11. Its vicinity with Afghanistan and porous border, Drone Attacks, unemployment, poverty, religious orthodoxy, social fabric and cultural values are some of the main contributory reasons for violence in FATA. Apart from this soil topography is adding factor which suits such kind of warfare. However effective strategy of Pakistan Armed Forces has kept the militants at the back foot. Army secured massive public support of the local people against the militants. This has remained the decisive factor in pushing the militants back. Rift in Pak-US relation and reluctance of Pakistan to cooperate in war against Al-Qaeda and Taliban after Salala incidents may be another factor for decline in militant activities in the FATA region. Statistics show that after the suspension of NATO supply and drone attacks the militant attacks in FATA significantly dropped.
Province of KPK adjacent to tribal belt remained vulnerable to any change occurred in FATA. Crime and violence always remained high relatively in this province because of its location. Grip of militants in the tribal region made KPK prone to anti state activities by the militants. Peshawar and its adjoining areas as well as Charsadda and its adjoining areas remained the most affected parts in the first quarter of 2012. Both the districts suffered 46 percent of the total violent attacks in the province of KPK witnessed. Both the districts share their boundaries with the FATA. Activities of Lashkar- e- Islam of Mangal Bagh locally known as “Mangali” worsen the law and order situation in district Peshawar further. Data collected by the CMC reveals incline in militants’ activities in KPK in the first quarter of this year as compared to the last quarter of the previous year while downward trend has been observed in FATA in the same period. This is alarming state of affairs for the ANP government in the province.
In Baluchistan separatists took full advantage of poor governance and apathy and incapacity of the provincial government. The provincial Government despite mammoth cabinet comprises of almost all the members of provincial assembly, failed miserably to protect common citizens from target killers and abductors. It is for the first time observed that number of anti-state violent incidents in Baluchistan province exceeded the number of militant attacks in FATA and KPK. Acquiring soft targets is the strategic approach of the Baloch militants.
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