Islamabad: More than 18,000 terrorists have been killed during the war on terrorism in the last two decades, Pakistan’s armed forces spokesman disclosed on Monday. “At least 1,100 Al Qaida terrorists were either captured or killed to ensure global peace and security” during the same period, said Major General Babar Iftikhar, director general of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
Pakistan has scored impressive successes against terror groups, demolishing their network and limiting attacks on the country, the official said during the press conference focused on the achievements of the war on terror as well as current the security situation and border violations. “Today, there is no organised terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan” due to the successful military operations, the ISPR chief claimed. However, he maintained that Pakistan is now increasingly becoming a victim of hybrid warfare, and also confronting massive disinformation campaigns as recently unveiled by EU DisinfoLab.
Terror attacks drastically decreased
Pakistan has witnessed 86 per cent reduction in terror attacks since 2013 and 45 per cent decrease in 2020 compared to the previous year (2019), Maj Gen Iftikhar said. Meanwhile, the law-enforcement agencies averted more than 50 per cent of the terror threats during the last year. Suicide bombings have also seen a 97 per cent decline since 2009. The high impact terror incidents that had hit an annual peak of 90 in 2013 had now dropped to around 13. Highlighting the substantial improvement in Karachi’s security situation, he said that terror incidents as well as target killings and kidnappings in Pakistan’s biggest city had reduced by over 98 per cent, improving the city’s ranking in the World Crime Index from 6th in 2014 to 103 now.
Recalling Pakistan’s struggle against terror threats, the general said that intelligence sharing with 70 countries helped eliminate the militants, securing regional peace and stability. Pakistan has lost 83,000 lives during the war on terror that has cost the country almost US$126 billion, he said.
Detailing the security situation along the borders, the DG ISPR said that border terminals and posts, scanners, biometric system and fencing had drastically deterred militant infiltration, smuggling and illegal crossings. Nearly 83 per cent of the 2,600-km Pak-Afghan border has been secured, while more than 37 per cent fencing of Pak-Iran border has been completed. Almost 482 out of 1,068 border forts have been built. Due to the fencing, terror incidents in border areas have seen a 55 per cent decrease while IED blasts in border districts reduced by 16 per cent.
During the Radd-ul-Fasaad military operation launched in 2017, the security agencies conducted more than 371,000 intelligence-based operations (IBOs), including 50 major operations, and recovered 72,227 weapons and 5 million rounds of ammunition, dismantling the terrorist support base, their facilitators and financiers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) tribal districts and Balochistan. Several laws have also been enacted to intensify Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts.
Responding to a question on a recent attack in Machh, Balochistan, the general said that “There is external support” to prove the presence of ISIS (Daesh) in Pakistan, but Pakistan military is taking measures to dismantle the terror network and the splinter groups and further improve security in the province that has seen a surge in militant attacks recently.
“The challenges that we overcame have now paved the way for great opportunities” and economic prosperity, the ISPR spokesperson said. At least 199 development projects worth Rs601 billion have been launched in Balochistan covering health, education, agriculture, and infrastructure sectors whereas 831 similar projects worth Rs31 billion have been initiated in KP’s merged tribal districts.
Pakistan war on terror:
• 18,000 terrorists killed
• 1,100 Al Qaida terrorists captured or killed
• 1,237 kinetic operations
• Dismantled international terror networks
• Border fencing to stem militant infiltration and smuggling
Drastic decline in terror attacks
• 86% decline in 2020 since 2013 (45% drop in 2020 compared to 2019)
• 97% decrease in suicide bombing since 2009 (from 87 to 3)
• High impact terror incidents declined from 90 in 2013 to 13 in 2020
• Security forces averted more than 50% terror threats in 2020
• 83% of 2600-km Pak-Afghan border secured
• 37% fencing of Pak-Iran completed
• 482 out of 1068 border posts built
• Terror incidents in border areas declined by 55% and IED blasts by 16%