At least 25 people have been killed and over 40 others injured in an explosion in Balochistan's Mastung district near Quetta. Mastung was previously targeted in 2012 and 2014 as well, when Shias and pilgrims returning from Iran were attacked. A bomb was diffused in the area in January. Balochistan remains far from progressing towards peace anytime soon, and the cloud of smoke created by the actions of non-state organisations and state actors becomes more opaque by the day.

Deputy Chairman Senate Abdul Ghafoor Haideri's convoy was hit in the attack. The explosion occurred right as Haideri's convoy was exiting a seminary on Friday. Haideri belongs to Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and this is not the first time a JUI-F lawmaker has been targeted. In 2014, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was injured in a suicide blast in Quetta targeting his vehicle and was also targeted in 2011.

There are reports that Daesh (IS) claimed the attack on the Senator’s convoy. However, it is unclear what their motive was to attack the senator. Separatist militants in Balochistan have waged a campaign against the central government for decades, demanding a greater share of the gas-rich province's resources. Taliban and other Islamist militants also operate in the province, which shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran.

This was not a religious gathering of a small sect. The attack was on a mainstream religious majority, and not on a minority. The war is finally come home, and the 25 who died yesterday have paid dearly for a lack of proper counterinsurgency operations in Pakistan, and more specifically, in Balochistan. While the pattern or motive behind the attack cannot yet be identified, one conclusion is that this was just to create chaos, the religious nature of the congregation may not have mattered. However, a known Senator was present here, and it cannot be discounted that this may have something to do with the politics of the JUI-F and its leaders.

While the narrative will soon turn towards blaming the “foreign hand” that feed terrorists in Pakistan, it must be remembered that many of our terrorist groups are entities that are very much based in Pakistan. They may get funds from India, or elsewhere, but their motivation to kill is very much their own. In February, Daesh claimed the attack on Sehwan Sharif that killed 70. In April, the Rangers arrested at least five hardcore militants of Daesh and al-Qaeda in Sindh. Daesh is very much here, but it is recruiting from the radicalism that already exists here – groups and individuals with shifting alliances attracted by whatever nuance and novelty in ideology a new name can provide them. The National Action Plan, meanwhile, is missing in action, and no one has any clarity of what is going in in Balochistan and how to resolve the issue of terrorism and separatism in the region.