The recent bomb blast outside Quetta’s Civil Hospital targeted lawyers and journalists, gathered to mourn the death of Balochistan Bar Association (BBA) president Bilal Anwar Kasi in a gun attack earlier in the day.

The images shown on media were the kinds of images that shake even war veterans to the bone; yet Pakistan’s representatives – elected and unelected – remained unmoved. Their response to this terrible tragedy was routine, scripted, and ultimately indifferent.

Let’s start with the Chief Minister of Balochistan, Sanaullah Zehri of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz. (PML-N). The bodies were still being removed from the street when he went on record to claim that the attack was carried out by RAW – the Indian intelligence agency. A few hours later Jamat-ul-Ahrar – a Pakistan Taliban splinter group – and Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility. Knowing the thick skins of the governing party, no reaction was expected, and none was received from them.

The Army Chief was “of the opinion” that Monday’s attack was an attempt by “enemies of Pakistan” to derail the CPEC. Such an indication, even if fundamentally true, made on the day of the attack is prone to be interpreted as referring to the casualties of the attack as collateral damage for the massive infrastructure project and will be read as insensitive.

Next we come to our honourable elected representatives. There was not even enough of a quorum in the National Assembly to pass a resolution condemning the blast; a few lawmakers expressed “concerns”, and blamed the non-implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) – which was the Parliament’s own job to begin with – while the rest we can only assume were trying to contain their grief in silence on the back benches.

The opposition comes off worse. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has been so self-righteous and self-important in its ‘jihad’ against Panama papers that they have ignored the bigger problems facing the country. Even now their leaders give us token condemnation, while they feverishly plan how to usurp the Prime Ministership.

The question our leaders have to answer is not who attacked us or why – at the end of the day RAW or IS may as well have been involved – but why did 70 Pakistanis have to die, why has our government and security regime failed to protect us, and how long will they continue to fail?

Remember the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park attack a few months ago, another brutal tragedy. We made the same promises and the same lamentations, but did nothing, and worked no harder. And here we are now repeating history like a curse.