Patterns of Global Terrorism 1996 - Pakistan

Terrorist-related violence continues in Pakistan as a result of domestic conflicts. Sectarian violence, including bombings, continued throughout the year in Sindh, Punjab, and in the North-West Frontier Provinces, resulting in about 175 deaths. Although the government has quelled much of the violence in Karachi, it has yet to produce a political settlement that would provide a lasting peace. The Pakistani Government has attributed most terrorist acts in Karachi either to the ethnically-based Mohajir Quami Movement (MQM) or to the Shaheed Bhutto group of the Pakistan People's Party, which was led by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's brother until his death in a clash with police on 20 September.

The Government of Pakistan acknowledges that it continues to provide moral, political, and diplomatic support to Kashmiri militants but denies allegations of other assistance. Reports continued in 1996, however, of official Pakistani support to militants fighting in Kashmir. One Pakistan-backed group, the Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front (JKIF), claimed responsibility for three bombings in and near New Delhi in early 1996 that killed at least 40 persons. There also are reports that militants associated with the Harakat ul-Ansar (HUA) may have killed four Westerners kidnapped in Kashmir in July 1995.

Pakistan alleged in a detailed report in the press that India had sponsored a series of bombings in Pakistan's Punjab Province from late 1995 to mid-1996, in which at least 18 persons were killed. In July authorities arrested a Pakistani national who claimed that Indian intelligence agents recruited him and provided him with explosives for the bombings. In mid-November a court in Lahore sentenced one individual to death and another to life imprisonment for their involvement in the bombings.


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