Quetta suffers from yet another terrorist attack. This time the target was our law enforcement personnel and the site of the attack was Quetta-Sibi highway. Eight people have been reported killed, of these seven were policemen. At least 24 have been reported injured. A contingent of 35 policemen was on its way to areas they had to patrol near the city when the explosion took place. It seems that the culprits were acutely aware of the movement of the police as they were targeted at a vulnerable time. The investigators have yet to determine whether it was a suicide bomb or an explosives laden vehicle that caused the blast. Another incident was reported immediately after the attack in which the armed men riding a motorcycle opened fire on an official vehicle killing a Counter Terrorism Department fencing expert. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has already claimed responsibility for the attack. The pattern of attacks in Quetta is clear: it is either law enforcement officials or members of the Hazara Shia community who have been targeted in the city. The perpetrators of these attacks are also quite well-known: it’s either the TTP or the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. On Wednesday, the TTP announced its new leader who will replace Umar Mansoor, the mastermind of the 2014 APS attack whose death in a US drone attack has been confirmed. Incidents like the one that took place on Wednesday have over the years disrupted the city’s normal functioning. An atmosphere of threat and fear prevails amongst citizens. The government should do more to gain an upper hand over disruptive and violent forces. It is time our law enforcement and security officials sit down and review their strategy in securing Quetta from the extremist outfits. There is clearly some missing link in the existing strategy if despite heavy deployment of law enforcement apparatus and militarisation of the provincial capital we remain unable to secure it against militants. It should be noted that peace in Quetta is essential for peace in Pakistan as a whole. When the capital of Pakistan’s largest province is attacked, we can tell that our progress — however significant — remains ineffective in tackling the menace of terrorism in its entirety. * Published in Daily Times, October 20th 2017.