NEW DELHI: A new report by the Institute of Economics and Peace, titled, “Global Terrorism Index 2014: Measuring And Understanding The Impact Of Terrorism” paints a disturbing picture for militancy in South Asia. According to the report, Afghanistan ranks second and Pakistan third, in the list of countries worst affected by terrorism. India ranks a high sixth on the index.

In fact, 82 percent of people killed in terrorist attacks, over the last 14 years beginning in 2000 and ending in 2013, were in just five countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Syria. Further, 2013 has represented the worst year in terms of casualties -- with the total number of deaths rising from 11,133 in 2012 to 17,958 in 2013, a 61 per cent increase. Over the same period, the number of countries that experienced more than 50 deaths rose from 15 to 24. This highlights that not only is the intensity of terrorism increasing, its breadth is increasing as well.

(Source: Global Terrorism Index 2014)

“Terrorism is both highly concentrated as well as a globally distributed phenomenon,” notes the report. As stated, over 80 per cent of the lives lost to terrorist activity in 2013 occurred in only five countries - Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria. However, another 55 countries recorded one or more deaths from terrorist activity.

Since 2000 there has been over a five-fold increase in the number of deaths from terrorism, rising from 3,361 in 2000 to 17,958 in 2013. However for four years, starting in 2007, there had been modest decreases in terrorist deaths and also a slight decrease in the number of countries experiencing greater than 50 deaths from terrorism per annum. The latest jump in terrorist activity coincided with the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

Further, the majority of claimed deaths from terrorist attacks, 66 per cent in 2013, are claimed by only four terrorist organisations; ISIL, Boko Haram, the Taliban and al-Qa’ida and its affiliates.

In addition to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, which ranks second, third and sixth, respectively, on the Index, Bangladesh ranks 23, Nepal 24, and Myanmar 35. The report also identifies 13 countries that are at risk of substantial increase in terrorism -- which includes the remaining South Asian country, Sri Lanka.

Further, Pakistan and Afghanistan constitute five of the ten worst terrorist attacks in 2013, as shown in the table below:

(Source: Global Terrorism Index 2014)

The report specifically notes that terrorism has also been increasing on the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan where the Taliban has escalated attacks over the last three years. Tensions in Pakistan escalated in 2007 when Presidential candidate Benazir Bhutto was assassinated, and deaths have increased by 20 per cent over the last two years. In India, there remains significant terrorist activity, including on the border between India and Pakistan, says the report.


(Source: Global Terrorism Index 2014)

Terrorism is increasing in Afghanistan, with ten per cent more terrorist attacks and 13 per cent more fatalities in 2013 than 2012, notes the report. Whilst there were seven different terrorist groups active in Afghanistan, one group, the Taliban, was responsible for the majority of attacks and casualties. The Taliban remains one of the most deadly terrorist groups in the world. In both 2012 and 2013 the Taliban was responsible for 75 per cent of all terrorist fatalities in Afghanistan. In 2013 unknown actors accounted for 23 per cent of deaths by terrorism. The remainder of fatalities were claimed by six terrorist groups.

In 2013 there were terrorist acts in over 440 different cities in Afghanistan, clearly highlighting the breadth of terrorism across the country, notes the report. However 304 cities suffered only one terrorist attack. There were 36 attacks in the capital Kabul and 25 attacks in the old capital of Kandahar. Police are the targets of most attacks, being targeted 46 per cent of the time and suffering 53 per cent of the deaths. Private citizens are the second biggest target group, with 21 per cent of attacks and 19 per cent of deaths.


(Source: Global Terrorism Index 2014)

Terrorism in Pakistan is strongly influenced by its proximity to Afghanistan with most attacks occurring near the border involving the Taliban, says the report. Like in Afghanistan, terrorism increased significantly in Pakistan in 2013, with a 37 per cent increase in deaths and 28 per cent increase in injuries since 2012. Nearly half of all attacks had no groups that have claimed responsibility. The deadliest group in Pakistan in 2013, responsible for almost a quarter of all deaths and 49 per cent of all claimed attacks, is Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Pakistani Taliban.

Terrorism in Pakistan has a diverse array of actors. In 2013 there were 23 diferent terrorist groups, down from 29 groups in 2012. However, 11 groups account for the majority of the 270 claimed attacks.

Over 60 per cent of fatalities were from bombings and explosions and around 26 per cent from firearms. A quarter of targets and deaths were against private citizens, with police accounting for 20 per cent of targets and deaths. The deadliest attacks were against religious figures and institutions which, on average, killed over five people and injured over 11 per attack.


(Source: Global Terrorism Index 2014)

Terrorism increased by 70 per cent in India from 2012 to 2013, with the number of deaths increasing from 238 to 404, notes the report. The number of attacks also increased, with 55 more attacks in 2013 than 2012. However, the majority of terrorist attacks in India have low casualties. In 2013 around 70 per cent of attacks were non-lethal. There were attacks by 43 different terrorist groups.

Communist terrorist groups are by far the most frequent perpetrators and the main cause of deaths in India, says the report. Three Maoist communist groups claimed responsibility for 192 deaths in 2013, which was nearly half of all deaths from terrorism in India. Police are overwhelmingly the biggest targets of Maoists, accounting for half of all deaths and injuries.

Referring to Jammu and Kashmir, the report says that three groups were responsible for around 15 per cent of deaths, including the Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen.