In the last few days, we have witnessed three attacks in Pakistan. Two in Balochistan and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Despite the sharp decline in the instances of terrorism in the country, these two provinces remain at the risk of such attacks. This is especially true for Balochistan where incidents of extremism have not witnessed a decline and there is a growing influence of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in the region along with that of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TLP). The attacks in Balochistan, in Pishin and Panjgur, led to 12 people being injured as a resulted of the detonation of an IED (improvised explosive dev¬ice). Both IEDs were planted in a motorcycle.

Ten kilograms of explosive material was used in the blast which led to six people being injured this Saturday. These are the first attacks in the new year and are a cause of great concern for people who recently mourned the death of the Army Public School (APS) victims along with Aitzaz Hassan, sixteen years old who sacrificed his life to save his fellow students. According to the Security Report of 2018 issued by the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS), Pakistani Taliban and Daesh or ISIS remained potent threats to country’s security.

The report also reaffirmed that Balochistan was the only region where terrorism-related killings surged, by over 23 percent, as compared to 2017 – most of these fatalities resulted from attacks by religiously-inspired militant groups. With the placement in the FATF grey-list due to insufficient efforts being made on part of the Pakistani authorities as per their analysis, it is imperative that the government along with the military devises a solution to deal with the situation at hand. The first solution perhaps is the acknowledgment of the presence of IS in the region. It is, of course, true that these so-called IS affiliated terrorists are not ones who have travelled across borders, rather those who have merely changed their allegiance from TLP to the so-called IS.

Pakistan’s only diplomatic contact with the US is regarding the situation in Afghanistan and peace talks with the Taliban. It is important to cleanse out the country, implement NAP rigorously, investigate how the murder of SP Tahir Dawar was possible and encourage the military to devise a new security plan in order to improve Pakistan’s diplomatic standing instead of existing in a false sense of security.