Pakistan claims ‘sharp dip’ in terror activities in 2017

Islamabad: Pakistan has witnessed a sharp drop in the number of terrorist attacks related to sectarianism in 2017, a result of strict policies adopted by the state institutions during the last three years, an official report revealed on Monday.

The interior ministry data stated that a visible decline was observed in sectarian terrorism with only two such incidents being reported during this year as compared to the previous years.

According to the statistics issued by the ministry, during the last seven years, a total of 676 incidents of sectarian terrorism were reported, of which 70 were recorded during 2011, 185 in 2012, 127 in 2013, 176 in 2014, 79 in 2015, 37 during 2016 and two such incidents in 2017.

Pakistan’s success against terrorism was the result of the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP), a strategy adopted by the country following the brutal terrorist attack at a school in December 2014 in which over 140 children were killed.

Under the NAP, a wide-ranging operation against terrorists and their helpers was launched across Pakistan in which around 2,127 terrorists were killed and 5,884 arrested

From January 2015 till August this year, under the NAP, 937 Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), 10 websites of Proscribed Organisations against abuse of Internet and social media have been blocked under the steps taken to dismantle the communication networks of terrorists.

At least 63 organisations were banned, three were put under surveillance, while 8,333 persons were put under close observation.

To choke the finances of terrorists, at least 5,023 bank accounts were frozen, 1,543 people were arrested under 1,113 anti-money-laundering cases and an amount of Rs 1,321 million ($15.58 million) was recovered from them.

Strict implementation of the ban regarding glorification of terrorists on both print and electronic media is also being enforced in the country.

During this period, the Counter-Terrorism Force (CTF) was also established with a total strength of 9,039 personnel. The CTF has participated in a number of operations and achieved exemplary success against terrorism, the report said.