For the third time in a row, Pakistan has topped the list of nations at the highest risk of experiencing mass killings, according to the latest assessment by the US think-tank Early Warning Project.
Pakistan faces multiple security and human rights challenges, including increasing violence by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, the Early Warning Project said in its 28-page report.
The Early Warning Project is a joint initiative of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College.
The other Asian nations in the top ten list include Myanmar ranked second and Yemen, in the third spot.
Early Warning Project is a research organization that identifies countries at risk of mass violence. The report cites violence by a local offshoot of the Taliban as one of the main challenges for the nation already facing political and economic crises.
Notably, this report comes as Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) called off the ceasefire with the government this week. TTP ended the ceasefire agreed with the government in June and ordered fighters to stage attacks across the country.
"As military operations are ongoing against mujahideen in different areas [...] so it is imperative for you to carry out attacks wherever you can in the entire country," the banned outfit said in a statement.
The Islamic group's violent campaign had been picking up pace in recent months, with the most significant attack coming in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's (KP) Lakki Marwat district last month, in which at least six policemen were killed.
The TTP, a Pakistani offshoot and close ally of the Afghan Taliban, is listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States and the United Nations. According to UN estimates, it has between 4,000 to 6,500 fighters in Afghanistan. Its spread is beyond the tribal belt, to Pakistani cities.
"The Early Warning Project judged there was an ongoing mass killing perpetrated by the Taliban Movement of Pakistan and associated militias as of the end of 2021; this risk assessment relates to the possibility of a new and distinct nonstate-led or state-led episode beginning, not to the ongoing episode continuing or increasing," the report said. (ANI)