Terrorism in Pakistan is in decline for the second consecutive year. If current trend lines continue, the number of Pakistani civilians killed in terrorist attacks this year will be the lowest since 2006, a year before the Pakistani Taliban began a nationwide insurgent and terrorist campaign.
This precipitous drop is due to both Pakistani counterinsurgency operations being conducted in all seven tribal areas near Afghanistan, and urban counterterrorism operations in all four provinces—the most expansive of which is taking place in the megacity of Karachi.
Karachi: A ‘Feral City’
The Karachi of old was cosmopolitan, peaceful, and clean. Into the 1960s, it represented the can-do spirit and aspirations of a young Pakistan, taking in Muslim migrants from India, who overcame the trauma and violence of partition with their forbearance, industriousness, and optimism.
The Karachi of today resembles Richard Norton’s “feral city”—a metropolis whose government “has lost the ability to maintain the rule of law within the city’s boundaries yet remains a functioning actor in the greater international system.”