Late last year, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism released a report that tabulated data from 1970 to 2013. The objective of the report was to study how, where and at what rate educational institutions are being targeted by terrorist groups. Although the report data collection stopped in 2013, Pakistan was still ranks first.
Out of 3,400 attacks spread across 110 countries in the period studied, 724 took place in Pakistan, which represents about a quarter of the entire number. This was so even without including the horrific attack at Army Public School Peshawar in December 2014. Ten percent of all terrorist attacks in Pakistan targeted schools. The second position was held by Thailand, which experienced 213 attacks - less than half the number of attacks in Pakistan.
According to the report, schools, educational institutions and universities were 88PC more likely to be addressed in the country than the global average, which stands at 69pc. Most attacks on schools (and, again, this does not include Peshawar) were non-lethal and aimed at the educational infrastructure.
They include devices with greater frequency explosives, arson or incendiary devices that were reported in the middle and upper primary schools, while the buildings were unoccupied. Three quarters of the attacks were carried out by "unknown perpetrators" despite the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan took responsibility for 136 of them.
The fact that the attack in Peshawar was, unlike the many hundreds of previous ones, especially intended to cause a huge loss of life represents an escalation of violence and perhaps a greater willingness to address not only the infrastructure but also students - willfully causing loss of life rather than just a loss of infrastructure.