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Last Updated: 02 February 2011

Casualties and Victim Assistance


Casualties in 2009

Casualties in 2009

421 (2008: 341)

Casualties by outcome

189 killed; 232 injured (2008: 145 killed; 196 injured)

Casualties by device type

109 antipersonnel mines; 102 antivehicle mines; 190 victim-activated IEDs; 20 other ERW


In 2009, Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor identified 421 casualties from antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines, victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) in Pakistan.[1] Adult men (327, or 78%) continued to make up the largest casualty group; nearly a third of adult male casualties (103) were security forces. Fifty-seven child casualties were identified (39 killed and 18 injured); 36 were boys and 21 were girls. The vast majority of casualties (310) occurred in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), followed by 107 in Balochistan.[2] Victim-activated IEDs caused nearly half of all casualties, killing 82 people, including 15 children, and injuring 108 people.

There was a 23% increase in casualties from 2008 to 2009. While a lack of complete casualty information makes it difficult to confirm trends, this increase could be attributed to the upsurge in fighting, particularly in the tribal areas and in the NWFP throughout 2009.[3] While IEDs (including some that were victim-activated) and mines were mainly used to target military convoys and law enforcement agencies, their use in roads and areas with civilians contributed to the high rate (321 of 421, or 76%) of civilian casualties.[4]

The total number of casualties in Pakistan is not known and there is no official data collection mechanism. In 2010, for the first time, the government reported that there were no ERW casualties in Pakistan,[5] though between 1999 and 2009, Landmine Monitor identified at least 2,390 casualties  (917 persons killed, 1,378 injured, and 95 unknown) from victim-activated explosives, including ERW, through media monitoring, field visits, and information provided by service providers.[6]

Victim Assistance

There are at least 1,378 mine/ERW survivors in Pakistan; there are no specific victim assistance programs. No efforts were identified in 2009 to assess survivors’ needs.[7]  

Victim assistance coordination

Pakistan does not have any specific coordination mechanisms or national plans for mine/ERW victim assistance. The Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education and the National Council for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons are responsible for disability issues and specifically the implementation of the 1981 law for the employment and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities and the 2002 National Policy for Persons with Disabilities.[8]

No information was available as to whether or not mine/ERW survivors were included in government coordination, implementation, or monitoring of disability plans.

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities in 2009[9]

Name of organization

Type of organization

Type of activity

Changes in quality/coverage of service in 2009

Christian Hospital Rehabilitation Centre

Regional hospital

Medical care and physical rehabilitation in Balochistan; and ICRC provided training to improve quality of physical rehabilitation

No change

Hayat Shaheed Teaching Hospital

Regional hospital

Medical care and physical rehabilitation in Peshawar

No change

Muzaffarabad Physical Rehabilitation Centre

Regional hospital

Physical rehabilitation in Kashmir; ICRC provided training to improve quality of physical rehabilitation; and small grants and business training program with the ICRC

No change

Lady Reading Hospital

Regional hospital

Physical rehabilitation in Peshawar

No change

Helping Hand for Relief and Development

National NGO

Physical rehabilitation in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir

No change

Institute of Prosthetic and Orthotic Sciences

National University in Physical Rehabilitation

Physical rehabilitation in Peshawar; and ICRC provided training to improve quality of physical rehabilitation

No change

Community Appraisal and Motivation Programme (CAMP)

National NGO

Disability resource center, emergency health care and advocacy

Launched new emergency health care project in the FATA

Sustainable Peace and Development Organization (SPADO)

National NGO

Advocacy for victim assistance

New protection program launched to link survivors in the NWFP with services and maintain comprehensive casualty database

Handicap International (HI)

International NGO

Emergency relief, mobility devices and disability access in internally displaced persons camps in FATA and the NWFP

Launched new emergency relief program focused on disability for displaced persons


International organization

Support for medical care, physical rehabilitation and small grants and business training

New field hospital in Peshawar opened; increased support to some medical facilities; reduced support to some areas because of inaccessibility due to the security situation


The continued and intensifying conflict throughout 2009 in mine-affected regions of the country prevented survivors from accessing needed services because of insecure travel conditions.[10] It also caused some non-governmental service providers to cease operations, while others, including the ICRC and HI, expanded services in an attempt to meet the increasing demand.[11] The ICRC was unable to consistently supply health centers or provide planned staff trainings at some partner health and rehabilitation centers in Balochistan and parts of the NWFP and FATA because of security conditions.[12]

While the government reported that there are systems in place to provide free medical support, employment, and monetary compensation for both mine and ERW survivors and families of those killed,[13] field research in March 2010 confirmed a continuing lack of the necessary emergency and continuing medical care services in mine-affected areas of Balochistan, FATA, and Pakistani-administered Kashmir.[14] The provincial government of the NWFP reported having provided financial assistance to the survivors for health and physical rehabilitation services.[15]

Military hospitals provided better medical care to mine/ERW casualties than civilian hospitals but, with some exceptions in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, civilians were unable to access these services.[16]

As part of HI’s emergency relief program launched in June 2009, psychosocial support was provided to persons with disabilities and other vulnerable persons in internally displaced persons camps.[17] While the ICRC continued providing small grants and business training through the Muzaffarabad Physical Rehabilitation Centre,[18] most activities were focused on emergency relief and medical care.

The law provides for equality of the rights of persons with disabilities, though there was a lack of adequate enforcement mechanisms.[19] In August 2009, the government began issuing national identity cards for persons with disabilities to help them access benefits and introduced reduced rates for mass transportation.[20]

Pakistan signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 25 September 2008, but had not yet ratified it as of 20 July 2010.

[1] Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, CAMP, and SPADO media monitoring, 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2009. Information provided by SPADO also included data collected by risk education field teams and by HI in Pakistan.  In addition, 108 casualties caused by command-detonated explosive devices and 91 casualties in which the activation type could not be determined were also identified but were not included in casualty figures.

[2] An additional four casualties were identified in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.

[3] ICRC, “Annual Report 2009,” May 2010, Geneva, p. 216.

[4] Email from Raza Shah Khan, Executive Director, SPADO, 13 April 2010.

[5] Convention on Cluster Munition (CCW) Protocol V Article 10 Report, Form C, April 2010.

[6] For details, see report on Pakistan in previous editions of Landmine Monitor. For example, see Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 1,061.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Leonard Cheshire Disability International, “Pakistan Country Profile,” undated, www.lcint.org; Leonard Cheshire Disability South Asia, “Pakistan,” undated, www.lcdsouthasia.org; and Bharathi Ram, “Pakistan Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education to Introduce Micro-Credit Scheme for Disabled,” Microcapital.org, 17 August 2009, www.microcapital.org.

[9] There are hundreds of entities (most of which are public or private health or rehabilitation centers) providing assistance to persons with disabilities in Pakistan.  The organizations listed here reported having provided some assistance to mine/ERW survivors or working in affected areas. ICRC, “Annual Report 2009,” May 2010, Geneva, pp. 216–219; HI, “Around the World: Pakistan,” 21 October 2009 and 4 June 2009, www.handicap-international.fr; interview with Dr. Mohammad Ishaq, Director, Artificial Limbs Workshop, Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar, 19 March 2010; and interview with Raza Shah Khan, SPADO, in Santiago, 11 June 2010. Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Fauzia Huma, Project Manager, Disability Resource Center, CAMP, 30 March 2010; Shamsher Ali Khan, Administrative Officer, Helping Hand for Relief and Development, 25 March 2010; and Dr. Hamidullah Khan Kakar, Assistant Professor, Helping Hand for Relief and Development, 25 March 2010.

[10] Observation during Monitor field mission in FATA, Kashmir and Balochistan, March 2010 and in North and South Waziristan and other areas of FATA, 15–20 March 2009.

[11] ICRC, “Bulletin ICRC Hospital Peshawar,” March 2009, p. 2; and HI, “Extremely Precarious Conditions,” 4 June 2009, www.handicap-international.fr.

[12] ICRC, “Annual Report 2009,” May 2010, Geneva, p. 218.

[13] Government reporting refers to systems of support for “victims”. Article 10 Report, Form C, April 2010; and CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for the period 16 August 2006 to 15 August 2007), Form B. This is Pakistan’s latest Article 13 report to refer to victim assistance. A subsequent report for the period from August 2007 to September 2008 indicated that there had been no change in victim assistance.

[14] Monitor field research in FATA, Kashmir, and Balochistan, March 2010.

[15] It is not know who received such assistance and if this assistance was also provided in previous years. Interview with Liaqat Ali Khan, Chief, Capital Police, Peshawar, 20 March 2010.

[16] Interview with Brig. Azmat Ali, Pakistan Army, Peshawar, 22 March 2010; and Monitor field research in Kashmir, 24–26 March 2010.

[17]HI, “Around the World: Pakistan,” 21 October 2009 and 4 June 2009, www.handicap-international.fr.

[18] ICRC, “Annual Report 2009,” May 2010, Geneva, p. 217.

[19] US Department of State, “2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Pakistan,” Washington, DC, 11 March 2010.

[20] Mehtab Haider, “Disabled people to pay half fares throughout Pakistan,” The News (Islamabad), 24 July 2009, www.thenews.com; and Network of Organisations Working for People with Disabilities Pakistan, “Important: People with Disabilities to Receive Special Identity Cards from NADRA to Access Benefits!” 8 August 2009, www.nowpdp.org.