ISLAMABAD: Pakistani security forces have conducted 6,921 operations in the last three months to purge the country of militant violence, state media reported on Tuesday, with 142 suspected militants killed and 1,007 arrested in these raids.
The development comes amid a renewed wave of militant attacks in the South Asian country, particularly in its northwestern and southwestern regions that border Afghanistan and Iran.
The number of attacks increased after the Pakistani Taliban, or the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), called off a fragile, months-long truce with the government in November last year.
The anti-militancy efforts were expedited after the recent surge in attacks, during which the security forces not only arrested militants and their facilitators, but also foiled several attacks, the state-run APP news agency reported, citing sources.
“In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, some 1,960 operations were conducted including 1,516 area domination operations, 301 intelligence-based operations, and 143 area sanitization operations. During the operations, 98 terrorists were killed and 540 were arrested,” the report read.
“In Balochistan, 3,414 operations were carried out comprising of 2,980 area domination operations, 67 intelligence-based operations, and 367 area sanitization while 40 terrorists were killed and 112 were arrested.”
More than 750 operations were conducted in the southern Sindh province, wherein three suspects were killed and another 244 arrested, according to the report.
In Punjab, 165 intelligence-based operations were conducted that resulted in the killing of one suspect and arrest of 11 others.
“The security forces were continuing operations to prevent terrorism across the country,” the report added.
The Pakistani Taliban have claimed some of the major attacks in Pakistan since calling off their cease-fire, which was brokered by the Afghan Taliban in May 2022.
These attacks included suicide bombing at a mosque inside a heavily guarded police compound in the northwestern city of Peshawar that killed more than 80 people.
Another attack killed at least four people, when a Taliban suicide squad barged into the police headquarters in the country’s commercial hub of Karachi last week.
Low-level militancy, often targeting security checkpoints in the north and west, has been steadily rising since the Afghan Taliban seized control in neighboring Afghanistan in August 2021. The Pakistani Taliban share a common lineage and ideals with the Afghan Taliban.
Pakistani officials have announced that no talks could be held with militants who refuse to submit to the state’s writ.