Heavy price: Pakistan says war on terror has cost nearly 50,000 lives there since 9/11

Pakistan’s spy agencies told the country’s Supreme Court that the war on terror there has cost 49,000 lives since the Sept. 11 suicide hijacking attacks in 2001, Pakistani media reported Wednesday.

The agencies’ report to the court, a rare on-the-record statement from Islamabad’s usually ultrasecretive intelligence establishment, also accuses Afghanistan of collaborating with the Pakistani Taliban, or TTP — the first time Islamabad has leveled such charges, according to the Express-Tribune newspaper.

The report was provided to a three-judge panel of the court as part of the government’s defense against a legal challenge to recent anti-terrorism legislation.

The Actions (in Aid of Civil Power) Regulation of 2011 allows administrative detention of suspected extremists in specially built internment centers in the semiautonomous tribal areas on the Pakistan-Afghan border.

The report says more than 24,000 people — both civilians and troops — were killed in terrorist attacks between 2001 and 2008. The five years since then have proved even costlier in human terms: 25,000-plus people have died since military offensives against Taliban insurgents in the restive tribal regions began in 2008.

Since 2008, more than 5,000 civilians have been killed and about the the same number injured in suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks. In the same period, the military killed more than 3,000 insurgents and injured more than 1,200 in their security operations.

Pakistani armed forces have suffered more than 15,000 casualties fighting Taliban extremists in the tribal areas since operations began.

According to the report, there have been 235 suicide bombings, 9,257 rocket attacks and 4,256 other bombings in the past five years.

The report also revealed that 1,030 schools and colleges were destroyed by Taliban insurgents in just one province, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, from 2009 to 2013.

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About the Author
Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...

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