Islamabad, Jan 16 (Agencies): The number of suicide bombings and other attacks in Pakistan declined nearly 20 per cent last year as a result of Pakistani military operations, better surveillance by law enforcement agencies and the death of key militants in US drone strikes, a think tank said on Sunday.

But the militant threat remains dire, and the Pakistani government has yet to develop a comprehensive policy to eradicate Islamist militants who continue to plague the country, warned the Pak Institute for Peace Studies.

"Better coordination among intelligence agencies, capacity building of law enforcement agencies, curbs on terrorism financing and, most importantly, adequate measures to prevent banned militant groups from operating across the country remained persistently lacking," said a new report by the group.

Pakistan's anti-terror efforts are a key focus of the Obama administration, which wants the country to do more to target Taliban militants who regularly launch attacks against US troops in Afghanistan.

The number of militant, insurgent and sectarian- related attacks in Pakistan declined from 2,586 in 2009 to 2,113 last year. But the number of people killed in attacks only dropped about 3.5 per cent, from 3,021 to 2,913.

Despite the general decline, attacks roughly tripled last year in Pakistan's two largest cities, said the report, a sign that militants are having greater success exporting the fight far from their northwest heartland along the Afghan border.

In Karachi, a teeming city of some 16 million that has a long history of religious, political and ethnic violence, 93 attacks killed 233 people last year, up from 24 attacks that killed 65 in 2009.

Pakistan's cultural capital, Lahore, witnessed 44 attacks last year compared to 11 in 2009. But there were fewer casualties in Punjab province, where Lahore is the capital, because the militants carried out a smaller number of suicide attacks in crowded places.

Across the country, suicide attacks fell 22 per cent, from 87 in 2009 to 68 last year, according to the report.