The story of Quetta and its security lapses is not a new one. In the last few years, the city has become the hub of deadly terror attacks, abductions, and arms seizure. It is a huge question mark upon our intelligence agencies, and their failure to control such situations.

This time around, two Chinese nationals have become the target of the lack of state’s writ in the province. On May 24, one man and woman were kidnapped in the Jinnah Town area of Quetta city. The third lady escaped abduction, and in an attempt to shoot at her; passersby got injured by the firing.

While investigation is underway and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has ordered the recovery of the abducted persons; it will be difficult explaining the lack of security in the province this time around because Chinese officials have gotten involved in the process. The country has invested billions in Pakistan and will surely demand answers if the security situation is not improved. Pakistan is just a small part of their larger plan, and they need us to work out the glitches, so that they can move ahead. And if we cannot provide security for our investors, the risk is that China will provide this too, impacting our sovereignty and pride.

Kidnappings are just a tiny fraction of what happens in the provincial capital. Abductions in the province are rampant. Just last month, Balochistan’s higher education secretary Abdullah Jan was abducted from Quetta. Militants also kidnapped three government school teachers returning from a training session facilitated by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. A week ago, a cache of arms and ammunitions were seized from the same area and it was cordoned off for further investigation.

After so much time, bureaucrats, paramilitary officers, police and politicians all need to be held accountable in such situations. If there is a continuous breach in security, that means that the job is not being done as it is supposed to be done. The fact that people can comfortably continue in their offices despite such incidents is something that needs to be reconsidered. Our first priority should be to address these issues and replace those in office who are not doing the job that is required of them.

The writ of the state cannot and should not be challenged by anyone; and if someone attempts something of the sort, it needs to be dealt with seriously. And negligence in such cases cannot go unpunished.