With 980 Dead And 750 Wounded In Attacks Last Year, Terrorism Is On Rise But Who Cares?

With 980 Dead And 750 Wounded In Attacks Last Year, Terrorism Is On Rise But Who Cares?
A surge in militancy this year has left 980 persons dead and 750 wounded with cases of heinous crimes, like beheading of soldiers and slaughtering of youngsters, reminding us of days of terror that reigned the country prior to the launch of Zarb-e-Azb and Raddul Fasaad.

In less than two years, the militants have reversed outcomes of the two security operations, and are now constantly enhancing the spectre of their terror by committing ruthless attacks on civilians and security officials and calling off ceasefire offer at their will. It is compelling the Pakistan government to send teams after teams to pursue peace treaty with the banned TTP.

The counter-terror operations carried out by the law enforcement agencies to thwart the onslaught of outlaws remained inadequate. Terror attacks have continued unabated.

The highest victims of terror attacks were common people who suffered 819 casualties (308 dead and 511 wounded). Security personnel were the next to suffer with 293 dead and 230 wounded. Fatalities of outlaws were the highest (379 dead) but the number of wounded was as low as 9, bringing their casualties to the lowest among others.

Among the security personnel who lost their lives, 163 were from army, 120 from police, and 8 were government officials. Of the 193 terror attacks, at least 22 were claimed by the TTP and its splinter groups, 8 by two insurgent groups – Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and Baloch National Army (BNA). However, there were 152 attacks against the security forces that were not claimed by any banned group but they did carry signs of militancy because of the nature of crime.
The security officials downplayed the reports of TTP’s resurgence and called them as an exaggeration though there were speculations that nearly 450 militants were allowed to return along with their arms.

In June, a headless body of an army man was found on the bank of River Tochi, North Waziristan. Nobody claimed responsibility of this incident. Two slaughtered dead bodies were found dumped in a ravine in the Tank district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on 21 December. They were allegedly killed by the TTP on charges of spying.

On December 7, a Frontier Constabulary soldier was martyred and beheaded by unknown attackers in Janikhel town of Bannu district by 20 armed militants. Next morning, his head was found hanging from a tree in the Bachki market area. Majlis-e-Askari and Ittehad-ul-Mujahideen claimed responsibility of the attack.

The law enforcement agencies carried out 128 counter-terror operations, leaving 368 outlaws dead and only 11 of them wounded. Only 153 of them were identified as members of militant groups, TTP, Daish (IS-K), Afghan Militants, and insurgent groups such as BLA, BLF, BNA, and BRA. The identity of the remaining 195 outlaws remained unknown.

Eight cross-border attacks on army checkposts at different Pak-Afghan border areas in North Waziristan and Kurram Agency of KP were reported in 2022 that left 22 soldiers martyred and 15 wounded. Not a single militant suffered any casualty in these attacks based on press reports.

An upsurge in kidnapping for ransom using intimidating methods of violence was also observed during the year. Explosives like bomb and hand grenades were used against civilian and security personnel to stoke fears among victims. Nearly 19 such attacks caused no casualty but the message was conveyed loud and clear.

For the first time, the people in Swat, Shangla, Khyber, Bajaur, North Waziristan and other northern regions came out on the street in large numbers and voiced their concerns on the rise of militancy in their regions. The security officials downplayed the reports of TTP’s resurgence and called them as an exaggeration though there were speculations that nearly 450 militants were allowed to return along with their arms. Addressing a protest rally in Mingora, Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, questioned the authenticity of security operations as, in his opinion, people were being killed by branding them as terrorists, an allegation that wasn’t substantiated with any proof.

The Senate Defence Committee was assured on 24 September that the situation was under control and reports of resurgence of the TTP were false. The special assistance to KP chief minister, Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, reportedly said that the TTP poses no threat and it is merely an exaggeration by the opposition to thwart the ongoing peace negotiations with the TTP. Barrister Saif was a part of the negotiations.

Two months later, the TTP called off ceasefire and instructed its militants to carry out attacks “wherever and whenever” they can. December witnessed an upsurge in militancy that targeted the highest number of security personnel in a decade.

Amid the rising tide of militancy, the TTP issued a threat to two mainstream political parties – PML-N and PPP - for being on their hit list for being slaves of the army and acting as allies of the US to target the TTP. It was a strategic move of the TTP to use the Imran Khan’s mantra against the army for allowing slaves to run the country. Soon after, Imran Khan lamented the failure of the government to comply with its pledge for resettlement of TTP militants and their families in tribal areas.

With one of the leading political parties siding and sympathising with militants, the chances of having a durable peace in the country appear unachievable. The militancy is taking one stride after the other targeting the innocent people, security personnel, and desecrating religious places without facing any denunciation from ulema for committing such blasphemous acts. Those who have been advocating for the Afghan Taliban, releasing the TTP militants, and allowing them entry into the country along with their arms and ammunition may never be questioned for their misguided role in opening the floodgate of terrorism in the country.


The article is based on the Center for Research and Security Studies’ annual report on re-emergence of proxy terrorism.

The writer is associated with CRSS.

The author is a freelance journalist and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Research & Security Studies