The PIPS report for August is out; you can read it here. The big story in August was violence in Karachi. The spike in Karachi meant that it was one of the worst months in recent times. To be specific, this past month saw the second highest monthly civilian casualties over the last year (only March 2011 was worse).
Karachi’s “contribution” to this mess was 180 dead and 92 injured. Put differently, an average day in August saw 6 people die due to ethnic violence (note: as a simplifying assumption, I translate PIPS’ “political and ethnic violence” to mean Karachi).
In other areas of Pakistan, the biggest stories of political violence were:
1. An August 11 bombing in Peshawar.
2. An August 19 bombing in a mosque in Khyber, which was a particularly devastating attack, killing more than fifty people.
3. An August 25 bombing in Nowshera.
4. An August 31 bombing in Quetta, targeting Eid celebrators.
Yes, it was an exceedingly grim month.
Here are graphs of violence from October 2008 to the present. The data is all from PIPS, the graphs are made by me. The thing to note is the uptick at the tail end in the second graph. I should also note — this being the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — that Pakistan suffers the equivalent number of casualties as 9/11 every four to five months. But for us, it’s not a one-off.