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Violence related casualties on rise in Pakistan: CRSS report

Islamabad, October 29 (Online): A report said that the violence-related casualties (both fatalities and injuries) in Pakistan show an overall increase compared to the data from second quarter of the year; overall 1092 causalities (651 dead and 441 injured) were recorded in this quarter (July-September, 2016).

This was crux of the quarterly security monitoring report of Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS).
The report said that 19.4% increase was observed in violence related activities in the country, during this quarter.

Additionally, 265 militants, criminals and insurgents (including those that were foreign) were killed and 386 non-combatants (including security officials) lost their lives during this period. The largest group among the non-combatants was civilians at 287.

In the previous quarter, 172 civilians lost their lives, compared to this quarter’s 287. In the previous quarter, 475 militants, insurgents and criminals lost their lives, which dropped to 265 this quarter. Thus, civilian deaths have seen a sharp increase (~58%) while the loss of life to militants, insurgent and criminals has seen a sharp decrease (56%).

Report said that out of the 386 non-combatants that lost their lives, civilians accounted for 44%, security officials11%, political activists 2%, government officials 1% while religious party members, religious persons and foreign religious persons each accounted for 0.3% of the total casualties this quarter. Militants’ casualties accounted for 21% of the total casualties.

Balochistan witnessed an upsurge in violence related casualties during Q3, and a nearly 18% increase (166 in Q2 vs. 196 in Q3) was seen in fatalities. Like Q2, Balochistan had the highest number of fatalities during this quarter too. As compared to Q2, a 90.5% rise in fatalities has been observed in FATA. 120 persons lost their lives in FATA in Q3, while 63 persons were reported read in Q2 which shows a remarkable increase in violence related fatalities. Khyber Agency had the highest number of fatalities, reported to be 69 with 22 injured, in Q3. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also showed an increase of 13% in violence, from 92 dead in Q2 to 103 dead in Q3 this year. In Punjab, a 52.5% increase was recorded during this quarter, when compared against Q2, 2016.

Report said that Sindh like Q2, once again observed a reduction in fatalities in violence related activities, from 138 in Q2 to 111 in Q3. While the average number of fatalities recorded in Sindh per month during 2015 had been around 100 persons; this number came down to 48 persons per month in Q2 and 37 persons per month in Q3. Karachi, particularly, witnessed a 21% reduction in violence as there were 104 fatalities from violence reported while in Q2, the number was at 133.

Report said that from Islamabad and Gilgit Baltistan, no incidents of violence-related fatalities were reported. In Azad Jammu and Kashmir, two soldiers of Pakistan Army were killed when Indian forces resorted to unprovoked firing along the Line of Control.

The report said that violence related activities against sectarian groups rose drastically during this quarter from only 16 fatalities in Q2 to 52 in Q3. Fatalities from sectarian violence were reported in FATA (36), KP (6), Sindh (6) and Balochistan (4) during this period. Punjab and Islamabad were the only areas not affected by sectarian violence. Of the 52 fatalities, 40 were recorded in September while 5 in July and 7 in August during this quarter.

This data suggests that the fight is far from over, and the unconditional implementation of rule of law should be the most paramount objective in order to eliminate violence.