Hover over points on the timeline for information about militant attacks on the Pakistani government.
Wednesday’s attempted attack on the regional office of Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence, or ISI agency in Lahore killed at least 30 people and wounded 300. This is the latest in a string of attacks on Pakistan’s security services since 2000. Attacks on Pakistan’s police, military, and intelligence agencies were once sporadic, but have been chronic since the July 2007 siege of the militant Red Mosque in Islamabad. Since then, security services have been targeted across the country, mainly in Northwest Frontier Province, Punjab, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
This pattern suggests that Pakistani militants from across the country have come to view the Pakistani government as a common enemy. It also suggests that internal developments in Pakistan are more responsible for increased militant attacks there—not spillover from U.S. military action in Afghanistan.
Militants seem to have shifted their attacks from mostly military targets in the aftermath of the Red Mosque siege to more police and intelligence services today. These developments show that Pakistan’s intelligence services and police are on the frontlines of its fight against militants, and the United States needs to take this fact into account in planning its assistance to Pakistan.
Lawrence J. Korb, Brian Katulis, and Colin Cookman just got back from a trip to Pakistan. Hear what they have to say: