While Islamabad has hinted at a tougher approach to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and emphasized the continuation of counter-terrorism operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, Pakistan-based terrorist outfits Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e -Taiba (LeT) has stepped up its efforts to push cadres to India.
The JeM is also urging young people to join the terror group’s district-level gyms in Karachi, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Peshawar, Muzaffarabad, Kotli, Narowal, Shakargarh, etc., for physical fitness and agility. It organizes periodic visits from youth going to the gym in border/Line of Control (LoC) areas to familiarize them and use them in future infiltrations.
Between August 5 and 11, the JeM organized a seven-day training camp “Daura Tarbiya” in Ganga Choti, Bagh district in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, leading LeT leaders took an active part in Friday sermons in Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s marakiz and madrassas, spewing poison against India and the West. As part of its ongoing jihadist training activities, the LeT resumed its basic Daura-e-Sufa training under the guise of ‘self-defense courses’. LeT officials have launched donation campaigns in the name of recent floods. While helping people in flood-stricken areas, they propagate the ideology and opportunistically exploit the crisis to spot raw talent and recruits for the terror group.
While the number of terrorism-related fatalities remained broadly stable, the overall security situation in Pakistan deteriorated as the terrorists appeared to be gaining ground in August. As talks with TTP continue, with no signs of rapprochement, unrest arises among the group’s grassroots, even as other terrorist groups strengthen their position.
The incessant cycle of political vendetta continued last month, with the Pakistani government and the TTP being incompatible, and the confrontation does not bode well for the country and will negatively impact the economy, which is already in the doldrums.
Although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and friendly countries have come to the rescue, things will deteriorate for the common man as a result of the imposed conditions, and with skyrocketing prices of essential goods.
Economic situation remains precarious
On August 29, the IMF board approved the release of a USD 1.17 billion tranche to Pakistan. It also approved an extension of the External Funds Facility until June 2023, in addition to increasing Special Drawing Rights (SDR) assistance by 720 million (approximately USD 950 million), bringing the total assistance package to approximately USD 6.5 billion . The release provided much-needed budget support to fill fiscal and external deficits, mainly by boosting additional funding from bilateral and multilateral partners.
Despite the disbursement of the IMF tranche, the economic situation in Pakistan will remain precarious, as depleted forex reserves were only about $7.7 billion on August 24. The devastating floods, which have claimed about 1,300 lives and displaced more than 30 million displaced people, would only add to the country’s forex woes as a downturn in the economy is expected, including a possible decline in textile exports in the United States. the upcoming months. Despite the approximately $500 million in aid pledged by multilateral and bilateral partners, the situation is placing an additional burden on Pakistan’s already scarce resources. The Pakistani government has estimated the economy to lose more than $10 billion as a result of the floods.
Political situation remains fluid
The government has launched a series of lawsuits against Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan Niazi. These include a case filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act for threatening senior police officers and a female judge for additional hearings in Islamabad, filed on Aug. 20. Pakistan’s Election Commission has issued separate notices to Khan and other senior party leaders for making immoderate and disparaging remarks against the commission. The committee also hears the Toshakhana reference filed against Khan for misappropriating official gifts.
Khan, meanwhile, has stepped up his anti-establishment rants in public rallies, most notably against army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, demanding that the military establishment review its policies in support of the ruling coalition government.