Pakistan witnessed alarming surge in violence in 2023

Pakistan witnessed at least 1,524 fatalities and 1,463 injuries from 789 terror attacks and counter-terror operations in the year

Representative image of Pakistan (photo: Getty Images)
Representative image of Pakistan (photo: Getty Images)
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IANS

Pakistan has witnessed at least 1,524 violence-related fatalities and 1,463 injuries from 789 terror attacks and counter-terror operations, including nearly 1,000 fatalities among civilians and security forces personnel in 2023, media reports said.

Overall fatalities, including those of outlaws, mark a record six-year high, exceeding the 2018 level and highest since 2017. Moreover, the country saw a surge in violence for the third consecutive year with an uptick recorded each year beginning from 2021, Dawn reported.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces were the primary centres of violence, accounting for over 90 per cent of all fatalities and 84 per cent of attacks, including incidents of terrorism and security forces operations, recorded during this period. Punjab and Sindh were relatively peaceful as together -- both these provinces suffered only 8 per cent of all fatalities in 2023.

These were the key findings of the annual security report issued by the Centre for Rese­arch and Security Studies (CRSS).

It claimed that the year 2023 recorded an alarming surge in violence by about 56 per cent -- an unprecedented escalation in the last 10 years, with the overall number of fatalities increasing from 980 in 2022 to 1,524 in 2023. This includes a staggering 57 per cent uptick recorded in Balochistan and 55 per cent in KP. Punjab saw a 96 per cent rise in violence though the number of fatalities was very low, followed by Sindh where the fatalities increased by 26 per cent, Dawn reported.

“Nearly 65 per cent of all violence-related fatalities recorded in 2023 resulted from terrorism, while the remaining 35 per cent from the security forces operations against the outlaws. The country suffered as many as 586 terror attacks this year [2023], with only 17 per cent of them claimed by the banned terror outfits such as TTP, BLA, Daish (Islamic State Khorasan) and others. The security forces conducted as many as 197 operations against outlaws leaving 545 of them dead,” the report stated.

An alarming upsurge in sectarian violence was recorded. In 2023, acts of terrorism directed at religious communities and their places of worship resulted in the tragic loss of 203 lives, 88 of them were security officials, Dawn reported.

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