Peaceful Pakistan: A Global Perspective

Pakistan became the beneficiary of terrorist activities after the tragic event of 9/11. Various terrorism attempts include suicide bombing, target killing. mass shooting and car bombing became the order of the day. More than 70,000 people have been killed due to the brutal act of terrorism, in which the country has borne the economic loss of $130 billion. It is hard to attribute the menace of terrorism to a single cause, as roots were found linked with the state’s internal dynamics and external factors. Till December 2014, Pakistan found its material capabilities unprepared and inadequate, to daunt the challenges associated with terrorism. However, the state’s response always stayed reactive and sporadic.

On 16 December 2014, the attack on the Army Public School called out for a firm policy to bring the country out from the menace of terrorism. Subsequently, all the national security’s stakeholders sat to devise a broad and dense policy and formulated 20- points National Action Plan (NAP) -a time-bound agenda to end up the terrorism, under the umbrella of National Counter Terrorism Authority Pakistan (NACTA). The NAP drive was initiated on December 24, 2016, after the approval by the parliament. Despite India’s anxiety on the regional stability over the implementation of NAP, the NACTA implemented it with full commitment in coordination with all the provinces and Law Enforce & Security agencies. However, the effective implementation of the NAP marked a significant improvement in overall country and region’s security order and established the writ of the state across the country.

Since then, the various aspects of NAP were debated. but the achievement of the NAP was never been discussed nor even highlighted. Most of the scholar questioned the challenges created by NAP, for national and regional stability. These documents were based on assumptions and the results were not based on facts as initiative’s result cannot be cultivated in the early day of implementation.  

Recently, the Institute of Economics and Peace published the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report 2020 through which the peace prospect in each county can be analysed. The report covers public disaster and terrorism incidents in 163 countries till 2019. The 8th edition of the report discusses the key terrorism tread and analysed 17000 terrorist incidents of the last 50 years. The report reflects that the situation of Pakistan has improved in last few years since the implementation of NAP as it found only 10 terrorist groups (out of 37 terrorist groups active in 2015)were (partially) active in 2019. The GTI report ranks Pakistan from 5th (2019) to 7th (2020) as the country recorded its lowest number of terror-related deaths since 2006.The report attributes that since 2007 there is a 90% decline in deaths related to terrorist incidents in Pakistan among which most of the deaths from terrorism in Pakistan were from small-scale attacks that were not attributed to any terrorist group.According to the report, the reduced terrorism trend in Pakistan is the result of to counter-terrorism operations undertaken by Pakistan Military and law enforcing agencies against terrorist groups.The report assessed the most frequent forms of terrorism in these regions were bombings and armed assaults targeting civilians, police and military personnel and the most impacted regions of Pakistan in 2019 were Balochistan and KP (erstwhile FATA); the two regions recorded 77% of attacks and 85% of deaths in 2019. However, the impact of terrorism in Pakistan declined by 95%. The report declares religious extremism as major motivator factor of terrorist attacks in Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Philippines and elsewhere.

The GTI report weather declares Pakistan a more peaceful country in the region, it also highlights the serious analytical concern thatterrorism statistics claimed by the India’sis an attempt to hide its nefarious activities in various parts of Pakistan by giving it a cover of terrorism in the region.

Bilal Habib Qazi
Bilal Habib Qazi
Bilal Habib Qazi is an International Relations Analyst. His analysis has featured in national and international media outlets. He holds the degree of MS in International Relations form COMSATS University Islamabad. He can be reached at bhqazi[at]