Pakistan ranks third out of 162 countries on the Global Terrorism Index with a score of 9.37 out of 10, the Australia and US-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) said in its report.
The country ranks after Iraq which scores 10 out of 10 on the GTI and Afghanistan which ranks number two with a 9.39 GTI.
According to the report, terrorism in Pakistan is strongly influenced by its proximity to Afghanistan with most attacks occurring near the border involving the Taliban.
It noted that similar to Afghanistan, terrorism increased significantly in Pakistan in 2013, with a 37% increase in deaths and 28% increase in injuries since 2012.
Nearly half of all attacks in Pakistan during this time had no groups that have claimed responsibility.
In 2013, the group responsible for almost a quarter of all deaths and 49% of all claimed attacks in the country was Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The report observed that in 2013 there were 23 different terrorist groups operating in Pakistan, down from 29 groups in 2012.
Over 60% were of fatalities from bombings and explosions and around 26% from firearms. A quarter of targets and deaths were against private citizens, with police accounting for 20% of targets and deaths.
It further said that the deadliest attacks in the country were against religious figures and institutions which, on average, killed over five people and injured over 11 per attack. This includes the killing of 87 during a twin suicide bombing at the All Saints Church in Peshawar.
It noted that the deadliest attack in the country last year was when a string of bombings left at least 93 people dead and over 150 wounded in one of the bloodiest days of violence in Quetta.
Girls schools have also often been targeted, an issue which gained worldwide recognition in October 2012 when Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai was shot by gunmen from the TTP.
However, despite the international attention, violence continues and in 2013 there were over 100 attacks on educational institutions, with a total of 150 casualties.
In 2013 there were 71 suicide attacks responsible for around 2,740 casualties in the country.
The report further said that of all attacks 16% occurred in Karachi with a majority of attacks in the north closer to the border with Afghanistan, including Peshawar, Quetta and Jamrud, which combined, had more attacks than Karachi.
The city of Parachinar in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the closest point in Pakistan to Kabul in Afghanistan, has among the highest rates of deaths per incident in the country with 87 people killed from seven incidents.
The report further shows that the number of militant attacks around the world has increased dramatically with over 80% of all terrorism occurring in only five countries – Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Syria.
The number of people killed in militant attacks worldwide jumped more than 60% last year to a record high of nearly 18,000 and the figure could rise further in 2014 due to an escalation of conflict in the Middle East and Nigeria, the report showed.
Four militant groups operating in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria were responsible for two thirds of the 2013 attacks and the vast majority of the deaths occurred in those countries, the IEP said in its Global Terrorism Index.
The four most active militant groupings are Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (now renamed Islamic State), Nigeria’s Boko Haram, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban and transnational al Qaeda-affiliated networks.
“There is no doubt it is a growing problem. The causes are complex but the four groups responsible for most of the deaths all have their roots in fundamentalist Islam,” said IEP founder Steve Killelea.
“They are particularly angry about the spread of Western education. That makes any attempt at the kind of social mobilising you need to stop them particularly difficult – it can just antagonise them more,” he said. The number of attacks themselves rose 44% in 2013 from the previous year to almost 10,000.
Deaths in such attacks are now five times higher than in 2000, the report showed, citing analysis of data in the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database. Most but not all militant attacks were religiously motivated.
Attacks in India – the sixth most affected country – rose 70% in 2013 largely due to attacks by communist insurgents.
The majority remained non-lethal. Increased targeting of police by the militant groups makes managing the problem even harder, Killelea said, sometimes fuelling rights abuses that compound existing grievances.
The report showed 60% of attacks involved explosives, 20% firearms and 10% other actions such as arson, knives or attacks with motor vehicles. Only 5% of all incidents since 2000 have involved suicide bombings.
The report showed some 80% of the militant groups which had ceased their activity since 2000 did so following negotiations.
Only 10% achieved their goals, while seven per cent were eliminated by military action.
The five countries with the biggest increases in deaths from 2012 to 2013 are also the countries most impacted by terrorism, the report noted.
The number of deaths in these five countries has increased by 52% over this period with Iraq observing the biggest increase in deaths.
Video courtesy of Vision of Humanity.