Terrorist groups and extremists have been extending their deadly reach while Pakistan’s administration is still largely preoccupied with political intrigues. According to previously revealed numbers from two prominent security think tanks, the number of deaths connected to violence reached a six-year high in 2023 as the nation lost hard-won territory to hostile forces. In 2023, there were approximately 789 terror acts and counterterrorism operations that claimed over 1,500 lives, nearly all of them civilian and security force casualties. Approximately equal to the overall number of fatalities, there were injured. The state’s shortcomings appear especially egregious in light of the statistics that also indicated a steady rise in violent occurrences during the two years prior. In 2023, there was a startling 69 percent rise in militant attacks compared to the year before, despite the warning indications. Pakistan’s opponents struck 53 times a month on average in 2023 as opposed to 32 times a month the previous year, operating with almost complete impunity.
KP and Balochistan were the most severely affected provinces, with 84 percent of the assaults occurring there and 90 percent of the total fatalities. It would be difficult to discover any intention to put out the fires there, though, given the state’s previous activities. In fact, the state’s shortsighted refusal to resolve the two protracted protest campaigns in the two provinces—the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement in KP and the protests by relatives of missing persons in Balochistan—patiently and amicably only seems to be stoking the pot further, even though the protestors have only been demanding basic rights. One of the surveys revealed a troubling fact: just 17% of terrorist attacks were carried out by banned groups. This indicates that the range of dangers to Pakistani interests on its soil is expanding and requires a more detailed mapping.
According to data that has been made public, security forces have consistently been the primary target of terrorist and militant groups’ operations, with a disproportionately high death toll. with front-line security officers accounting for the vast majority of recorded deaths. This should be a major source of concern for security policy makers since adversarial groups are waiting to take advantage of the growing rifts between the populace and the government brought on by the nation’s sociopolitical unrest. They must not be let to take advantage of it, thus the nation’s security apparatus must reorganise its priorities and concentrate all of its resources on thwarting this serious threat. This will inevitably mean fighting the want to use force to impose control while putting out the fires that are raging across the nation due to massive public unhappiness with state policy. It appears like we are living through a delicate time when one mistake could lead to permanent