On a bloody day for the people of Pakistan, at least 20 people were killed in three separate attacks across two provinces and a tribal region of the country. The attacks targeted security officials in the coastal town of Gawadar in Balochistan, the office of an anti-TTP commander in the tribal region of North Waziristan and a vehicle in the Upper Dir district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The attacks in Dir and N. Waziristan have been blamed on militants from Fazlullah and TTP groups, while the identity of the attackers in Gawadar remains unknown.
These attacks came five days after security forces came under attack on July 16, when Taliban stormed a police station in the tribal town of Bannu.
Prior to this, in two incidents last week, militants attacked a building housing police cadets in Lahore. Most of the young cadets who came under attack belonged to the northwestern region and it was reported that the Taliban targeted them for not treating the Taliban prisoners well.
On July 9, a military camp near Wazirabad (Punjab) was the target of an armed attack by assailants who opened fire and drove away, killing seven soldiers. While no responsibility was claimed for this attack, security officials said the involvement of the Taliban could not be ruled out.
There have been some reports that these attacks could be some form of retaliation by the militant organization over the reopening of supply routes for Nato forces in Afghanistan. The routes were reopened on July 4, following a statement issued by US Secretary of State where she conveyed an apology for the Nato attack on a Pakistani military check-post last November.
While it is clear that militants have stepped up the offensive against security forces and ordinary citizens, there has been no official word on how the government and law enforcement agencies will counter these acts of terrorism. It has been said that some areas previously controlled by the Taliban have been reclaimed by the security forces and some semblance of normalcy has returned to these regions, it remains to be seen how long peace will prevails in these sensitive parts of the country, given the recent surge of terrorism.
Will it be correct to link these attacks to the reopening of Nato supply routes to Afghanistan?
How can the government and security forces try to curtail these attacks?
Are military operations the answer to fighting terror threats posed by militants?
Dawn.com invites its readers to share their views and suggestions…