As the country was busy anticipating the return of the former premier the day before yesterday, parts of Pakistan was under attack. Since the last year, the narrative related to the security of the country is that we have managed to take charge of the situation due to the several military operations that were carried out and as a result, the extremists have been pushed to the sideline. However, successive bomb blasts in various parts of the country not only managed to disprove that narrative but have also managed to take away innocent lives. The first blast hit Bannu and resulted in the death of four while leaving a dozen injured. Right when affectees were being treated, there were reports of another bomb blast. This time in Mastung in Balochistan and it is the deadliest attack the country has ever witnessed even after the APS attack of 2014. There are over 120 people dead and many more have been left injured.

There is still no update as to how the extremists managed to carry out these intricately planned attacks, especially after the bomb blast at Haroon Bilour’s corner meeting in Peshawar. The security forces should have been more alert than ever because the elections are the time when people are more vulnerable than ever because of large gatherings. They become an easy target, and the failure to recognise that must not go unnoticed. While the state machinery including the armed forces was inclined towards imprisoning a civilian leader willingly submitting to the writ of the state, the extremists were planning to bomb our own people.

Since the last year, there have been reports of the growing influence of the “so-called” Islamic State (IS) in the region. Time and again, when they have managed to disrupt the system, our authorities have blatantly refused their existence. They not only kidnapped and murdered a Chinese couple in Quetta but also managed to place flags of the IS in Islamabad, where the safe city project enables authorities to keep an eye on these activities; this time again they are taking responsibility for the attack. It is about time that we acknowledge the growth of such factions in the regions because they have managed to hit Pakistan hard. And it was purely possible because of our misplaced priorities and the need to uphold the narrative that not only negates the security situation in Balochistan particularly but also denies the existence of IS in Pakistan.