Global index shows terrorism on decline in Pakistan

This is the third consecutive year that Pakistan has witnessed fewer terrorist attacks and deaths, according to report


Terror incidents have declined in Pakistan, according to the report by Global Terrorism Index released Wednesday.

Pakistan ranks fifth on the index, a marked improvement as it ranked fourth in 2007.

“Pakistan recorded a decrease in the number of people killed by terrorism with a 12 per cent reduction to 956 deaths. This is the lowest number of deaths since 2006,” report added.

This is the third consecutive year that Pakistan has witnessed fewer terrorist attacks and deaths.

In 2016, there were 956 deaths from terrorism; the lowest number in a decade. This is a 12 per cent decrease from the previous year and a 59 per cent decline from the peak in 2013.

Along with Pakistan, a positive trend was also noted in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Syria. All the countries, including Pakistan, recorded a reduction in the number of deaths from terrorism. Combined, these countries recorded 33 per cent fewer deaths, according to the report.

Iran was rated at the top of the index, following by Afghanistan, Nigeria and Syria respectively.

Moreover, India ranked eight, Turkey ranked nine marking its entry into the top 10 countries affected by terrorism, Bangladesh is 21, Saudi Arabia 26, China 31, United States 32, Russia 33, and United Kingdom 35.


Terrorism in South Asia

The index mentioned that South Asia had the highest impact from terrorism of any region in 2016 with three countries among the ten most affected globally; Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

The report said: “Regionally, there has been a slight improvement since 2015 largely due to decreases in the numbers of attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The region had a marked increase in terrorist activity over the 15 year period to 2016 with an increase from 883 deaths in 2002 to 5,949 deaths in 2016. The number of attacks also significantly increased from 282 in 2002 to 3,137 in 2016.”

More countries targeted, fewer casualties: report

The number of people killed in extremist attacks declined for the second successive year in 2016 but more countries were affected, according to the GTI.

Its report, produced by Australia´s Institute for Economics & Peace, found there were 25,673 deaths last year due to terror attacks -- down 22 per cent from a 2014 peak.

However, 77 countries experienced at least one fatal attack, more than at any time in the 17-year history of the Global Terrorism Database, on which it is based.

The data set, collated by America´s University of Maryland, is considered the most comprehensive of its kind globally.

The GTI called the falling victim numbers the "main positive finding" and "a turning point in the fight against radical Islamist extremism".

It reported the biggest improvement in Nigeria, where terrorism deaths attributed to Boko Haram fell by 80 percent last year.

But deaths attributed to the Daesh group increased by nearly half in 2016, with the majority of the rise -- 40 percent -- in Iraq. The GTI found "disturbing" trends in the worldwide spread of terrorism.

A dozen more countries were the victim of a deadly strike last year than in 2015.

In Afghanistan, they described the picture as "complex" in 2016, as the Taliban reduced attacks against civilians but stepped up conflict with government forces.

In Europe and other developed countries, it was the deadliest year for terrorism since 1988, excluding the September 11 attacks in 2001, according to the GTI.

It blamed Islamic State activity for the continued spike there, with 75 percent of terror-related deaths in these countries directed or inspired by the organisation since 2014.

"There has been a general shift towards simpler attacks against non-traditional and softer civilian targets," the authors noted.