A report issued today by the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies detailed something everyone in Pakistan was already painfully aware of: that the number of terrorist attacks in the nation soared in 2009 compared to the previous year.
According to the report, Pakistan saw 2,586 terrorist attacks, 87 of them suicide bombings. The attacks killed 3,021 people, and wounded at least 7,334 others. This was reportedly a 45 percent increase over 2008.
The report says the attacks came “in spite of” the military offensives in South Waziristan and Swat Valley, but in many ways the attacks came as a direct consequence of those attacks.
Particularly, the most high profile bombings came immediately after the invasion of South Waziristan began, and Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) officials have repeatedly said the attacks were because their bases in South Waziristan were being targeted.
Pakistan has currently committed 200,000 troops in the assorted offensives along its northern border with Afghanistan, though pressure is on them to launch additional offensives in Orakzai, Buner, and in particular North Waziristan. Though officials continue to tout these offensives as a way to safeguard the public, the stats on rising death tolls as the offensives increase seems to show a decided trend in the opposite direction, and that the additional offensives can also be expected to produce similar “blowback” against Pakistan’s civilian population.