Baluchistan: 19 out of 30 districts affected by militancy in May 2012


Baluchistan_DisrictsThe Conflict Monitoring Center in its latest security report on Baluchistan revealed that violence in Quetta has increased 350 percent during the month of May 2012. An unprecedented escalation of militant attacks in Quetta district of the troubled Baluchistan province shows grim security situation but hand-tied security forces have restricted themselves only to defensive tactics. The militants killed 16 security forces personnel including an SSP and seven policemen. Majority of the victims of militant attacks remained civilians as 51 out of 67 people were civilians. Militant violence affected 19 out of total 30 districts of Baluchistan during May 2012.

Conflict Monitoring Center’s statistics show that militant attacks in Baluchistan once again surpassed Khyber Pakhtunekhwa and FATA. The militants active in Baluchistan carried more attacks than they ever did against security forces. Generally they use to hit soft targets and avoid security forces but during May 2012, at least 15 attacks were carried out against Police, Levis, and Frontier Constabulary. CMC’s data shows that militants active in Baluchistan are now consistently using IEDs against government and public properties. This trend is observed since start of the year 2011. Statistics of the month of May however, show that more IEDs were used against police and Frontier Constabulary.  15 IEDs were blasted during the month and half of them were aimed at security forces. This new trend may worry Pakistani security forces as they are already pushed on back foot by exaggerated criticism in media and recent judicial proceedings about missing persons in Baluchistan. The CMC has already warned in its quarterly report that if concrete security measures are not taken against militants in this phase of militancy in Baluchistan, the menace may enter into a no-return phase.

In May 2012, a senior police officer SSP Shah Nawaz was killed while the commissioner of Qalat narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. Seven policemen were killed and 9 wounded during the month. Police is not trained to fight organized militants who are generally better equipped than police therefore; it remains a soft target for militants in all parts of militancy affected areas in Pakistan.

In Baluchistan there are mainly three types of militants active against state and the government; Bloch nationalists, sectarian militants and Pakistani Taliban who have close nexus with Al-Qaeda.

Most of the violence in the province is perpetrated by the Bloch nationalists but sectarian militants like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Taliban are also making the situation worse for the security forces. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for assignation of SSP Crime Investigation Department Shah Nawaz. Two policemen belonged to Shia sect were also believed to be killed by same group.

Despite increased number of attacks on security forces in Baluchistan, the prime victim of the ongoing insurgency is innocent civilians. During the month, 67 people were killed in militant attacks. Except 16, all were civilians.  To establish a parallel writ the militants are using coercive approach in the province. Government is unable to provide security to all civil servants and traders who are frequent targets of the militants. The militants exploit the government’s weakness to shatter the trust of the general public in government institutions.  The militants generally target civil servants, traders and government school teachers. On May 26, Bloch Liberation Army killed a school principal along with his nephew. The militants regularly target teachers of government schools. In many parts of the province government school teachers do not hoist national Pakistani flag in their schools as they fear reprisal from the militants.

 Security forces response in Baluchistan during May 2012 remained limited to defensive tactics. Statistically security forces actions in May were increased by almost two times as compared to April but practically the number increased from 4 to 7. Only one militant was eliminated during these actions while eight were arrested. The FC is also accused for killing three of the missing persons who were allegedly picked by the FC some months ago. The Chief Justice had ordered to produce them before the court but on May 28, there dead bodies were found in Killi Ferozabad area of Quetta.

During the month of May 2012, Militants violence affected 19 out of total 30 districts of Baluchistan while security forces actions remained limited to only four districts. Quetta was most affected district of the province as 43 percent (28 out of 65) of the militant attacks were recorded in the provincial capital. The worrying sign is that violence in Quetta increased 350 percent as compared to April when only 8 incidents of militant attacks were recorded. Average number of militant attacks in Quetta during first four months of the year was 12. An unprecedented level of increase in militant attacks in Quetta demands immediate response from counter insurgency mechanism of the provincial as well as central government. The graph bellows illustrates escalation of militant attacks in Quetta since start of this year.

The table below provides an overview of different types of militant attacks in Baluchistan during the month of May 2012.

Militant Attacks in Baluchistan in May 2012

 

 

Killed

Injured

Type of Attack

No

SFP

RZ

M

C

Total

SFP2

RZ2

M2

C2

Total2

IEDs

15

4

0

0

14

18

29

0

0

76

105

Rocket Attacks

3

0

0

0

2

2

1

0

0

21

22

Militant Assaults

8

5

0

0

2

7

5

0

0

9

14

Kidnapping and Killings

9

1

0

0

9

10

0

0

0

0

0

Targeted Killings

26

6

0

0

24

30

0

0

0

2

2

61

16

0

0

51

67

35

0

0

108

143

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