This blog aims to highlight issues and information that don't always make it into the mainstream media. Recognising that comment is cheap, wherever possible it will link you directly to documents and sources that are mentioned in the text.
I realised some time ago that it was impossible to write about Afghanistan without writing about Pakistan and other neighbouring countries. With that in mind, the reader will come across articles that, while not specifically about Afghanistan, in some way shed light on the conflict.
Casualties due to conflict in Pakistan (see tables above and below) showed a sharp spike last month, according to figures published by the Pak Institute for Peace Studies, confirming that it remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world. The number of deaths due to violent conflict rose from 692 in February to 1002 in March, with similar rises for the number of people injured and the overall number of attacks. The regional breakdown shows that Punjab suffered particularly badly, mainly due to casualties resulting from several devastating suicide bombings. According to PIPS, the relative increase in the overall number of attacks is due to a higher number of terrorist/insurgents attacks reported in this month. They say: "The steep rise in the death casualties is due to large number of militants killed in the operational (304 killed) and their clashes with the security forces (177 killed); while the increase in the number of injuries is due to nine suicide attacks reported in this month in which a large number of civilians were injured."