Pakistan has made scant progress towards fulfilling its pledge to demolish all terrorist organisations without delay or discrimination. In 2021, the country experienced significant terrorist activity. According to the US Bureau of Counterterrorism’s ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2021: Pakistan,’ the number of attacks and casualties were higher than in 2020.
According to the US Bureau of Counterterrorism report, major terrorist groups focused on conducting attacks in Pakistan included Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), and ISIS-K.”Pakistan reviewed and revised its 2015 National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism, reducing the NAP from a 20-point plan to 14 key points, but made meager progress on the most difficult aspects — specifically its pledge to dismantle all terrorist organizations without delay or discrimination,” the report read.
Separatist militant groups carried out terrorist attacks on a variety of targets in Pakistan’s Balochistan and Sindh provinces. Terrorists used a variety of tactics, including IEDs, VBIEDs, suicide bombings, and targeted assassinations, to attack various targets.
Pakistan was designated a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) in 2018 under the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act. In 2019, 2020, and 2021, it was renamed a CPC. FATF identified Pakistan as having strategic deficiencies in its AML/CFT system in 2018. Pakistan was still on the FATF’s grey list in 2021.
Terrorist groups posed significant threats to Pakistan’s religious minorities in 2021. On January 3, ISIS-K militants claimed responsibility for the deaths of 11 Shia Hazara coalminers in Balochistan’s Kachi district.
On April 21, five people were killed in a VBIED suicide attack in the Serena hotel parking lot in Quetta, Balochistan. According to the investigation’s findings, the attack was directed at both domestic and foreign officials. According to the Bureau of Counterterrorism’s report on terrorism in Pakistan, TTP claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming the targets were police and law enforcement.
On October 10, 2021, a prominent journalist in Pakistan was killed in an explosion in Hub, Balochistan. The bomb, according to authorities, was attached to his vehicle. The attackers were claimed by the BLA.
Attackers ambushed security officials in North Waziristan on December 30. Four security personnel were killed in the ensuing firefight. The attack was carried out by TTP.
While the government continued its efforts to increase madrassa regulation, according to the official report, many madrassas failed to register with the government, provide documentation of their sources of funding, or comply with laws governing the acceptance of foreign students.