Pakistan suffers more attacks after Taliban invasive in Afghanistan
ISLAMABAD: The rise in militant attacks in Pakistan reached the highest point in August 2021, according to a study which stated that this spike coincided with the Taliban’s offensive that started in May last year.
This research, conducted by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Study (PICSS), said that the highest number of attacks in a single month in 2021 was recorded in August when 45 attacks were carried out by militants. The institute said in its report said the overall number of militant attacks could not drop despite a one-month ceasefire from November 10 to December 10, Dawn newspaper reported.
The Pakistan publication said that the average number of militant attacks per month in Pakistan rose from 16 in 2020 to 25 in 2021, which was the highest after 2017.
The database highlighted that Balochistan is the most turbulent province where 170 deaths were recorded in 103 attacks. According to the report, the highest number of injured were also reported from Balochistan where more than 50 per cent of the total injured were recorded.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the second most affected region next to Balochistan, the report said. A total of 15 militant attacks were recorded in Sindh province in which 23 people were killed and 29 injured. Meanwhile, in Punjab province, militants carried out 10 attacks in which 10 people were killed and 87 injured.
Experts are wary of Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan, publicly supporting an end to the regional conflict but ultimately undermining any kind of peace that interferes with the self-interest of its leaders. They warn that such an act could backfire on Pakistan, especially on its military and intelligence establishment.
Taliban prevents border fencing with
Pakistan meant to divide Pashtuns: Report
The recent incidents on the Afghan-Pak border have brought to light the age-old issue of Durand Line that Pakistan had hoped to resolve with the Taliban holding the reins in Kabul.
On Friday, the Khaama Press news agency reported a second such incident in the recent past when Taliban’s local affiliates said that they stopped the Pakistani military from erecting barbed-wire fences and outposts in Afghanistan. The Pakistani military personnel reportedly wanted to build their outpost on Afghanistan soil in Chahar Burjak district of Nimroz province. The Pakistani military went up to 15 kilometres inside Afghanistan and wanted to build check posts, said eyewitnesses and residents of the bordering district, according to reports.
Similarly, on December 22, the Afghan Taliban had disrupted the fence constructed by Pakistan in the Nangahar Province on the Durand Line.
A Toronto-based think tank, International Forum For Rights And Security (IFFRAS) said that this is an illustration of one festering wound that continues to engage Afghanistan and Pakistan bilaterally.
The fencing of the 2,600-km long Durand Line has remained a contentious issue between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Ashraf Ghani government had objected to the fencing of the border and the Afghan side had even then tried to stop Pakistan from erecting a fence.
However, Pakistan went ahead with the fencing. Pakistan media reports say that 90 per cent of the border with Pakistan now stands fenced. “The fencing is part of the border mechanism Pakistan has been working on for years, not just to regulate the movement of people but also to deny terrorists the chance to move across the border freely,” IFFRAS said.
According to the think tank, the real reason for Pakistan to fence the border is to divide the Pashtuns.
The Pashtuns as an ethnic group straddle between the Pak-Afghan border. In Afghanistan, they constitute 42 per cent of the population. Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the population of Pashtuns is 25 per cent.
Highlighting the irony of how Pashtuns live on both sides of the border, the think tank argued that Pakistan has chosen to divide these peoples by building a fence across the stretch of the border.
“Pakistan has chosen to recognise the Durand Line while Afghanistan, both in the past and currently refuses to recognise it as the international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” IFFRAS said.
Earlier in September, the Taliban’s position on the Durand Line was expressed by its key spokesperson. While speaking with a Pashto channel in Pakistan, Zabiullah Mujahid had said Afghans opposed the fence erected by Pakistan along the Durand Line.
“The new Afghan government will announce its position on this issue. The fencing has separated people and divided families. We want to create a secure and peaceful environment on the border so there is no need to create barriers,” Mujahid had said. (ANI)