Terrorism & Insurgency

Declining militant attacks indicate lowering risk in Pakistan but rallies and religious minorities remain likely targets

15 January 2018

Key Points

  • Militant attacks in Pakistan continued to decline for a third consecutive year in 2017. Attacks remained concentrated against security forces and religious minorities, while assets with enhanced security measures, such as airports and construction projects, were not targeted at all.
  • Although attacks are likely to remain at the current lower intensity in 2018, election rallies in Punjab and Chinese expatriates in Balochistan and urban areas are likely to be increasingly targeted in the one-year outlook.
  • Islamic State-claimed attacks increased in 2017, and are likely to continue in 2018, although an official split in the group’s Afghanistan-based faction would indicate a declining threat level.


According to Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, total militant attacks in Pakistan fell to 367 in 2017 from 414 in 2016, marking a year-on-year decrease of 12% and the third consecutive year of declining attacks in the country, although militant operations have arguably stabilised following significantly larger decreases of 42% and 38% in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

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