(Bloomberg) -- Pakistan tops the list of countries at the highest risk of experiencing new mass killings, according to a new report that cites violence by a local offshoot of the Taliban as one of the main challenges for the nation already facing political and economic crises.
“Pakistan faces multiple security and human rights challenges, including increasing violence” by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, according to a report by Early Warning Project, a research organization that identifies countries at risk of mass violence.
Threats of attacks by the Islamic State and the country’s blasphemy laws, which have resulted in episodes of mob violence against religious minorities, were other factors for Pakistan’s high-risk ranking. Political volatility, following the ouster of former premier Imran Khan, was also expected to lead to “highly contentious” elections next year, according to the report.
The study comes days after an announcement by the TTP militant group ending a monthslong agreement with the government to pause violence and ordering its fighters to resume attacks.
Pakistan’s neighbor Afghanistan ranked seventh on the list because of its growing targeted killings at mosques and other public places after the Taliban’s takeover of the country last year.
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.
Two other Asian nations were on the top ten list -- Myanmar, where the military seized power in a February coup last year, was at number three. India was ranked eighth as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has increased its systematic discrimination against the country’s Muslim minority, the report said.
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