ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Pakistan’s days of isolation are over, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared as the final of the Pakistan Super League T20 tournament was held successfully with the participation of foreign players on Sunday.
“Over the past four years, we have become stronger, safer and more stable, creating an environment conducive to national aspirations,” he said in a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s House.
Triumph for Pakistan, cricket: Terror clean bowled
“Against all the odds, all the fears and divisions, we have risen stronger, more united and more prosperous on the night of the PSL final. Today, Pakistan has proved to the world that our days of isolation are over.”
Premier Nawaz expressed pleasure that authorities were able to provide Pakistanis the opportunity to watch the PSL final on home soil. “Cricket is a sport near and dear to all of our hearts. I am glad that our administration has provided people with an ability to experience the exhilaration and passion of their favorite sport,” he said.
“This is the first step in putting Pakistan back on the map in the sporting arena and a positive sign for the future to come,” the prime minister added.
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in a statement, said Pakistan had won and its enemies defeated with the holding of the PSL final in Lahore.
“The success of this event gives a message to terrorists that their nefarious designs cannot shake the courage and determination of the Pakistani nation. By successfully holding the PSL final, Pakistan has made history and made it clear to terrorists that the courage and determination of this brave nation is stronger than fear,” he said. “It is quite evident from the masses enthusiasm that our enemies cannot frighten the brave and courageous people of Pakistan.”
Shehbaz congratulated the whole nation on the holding of the PSL final in Lahore and appreciated the services rendered by the Pakistan Army, Rangers, police and other related departments to make the national event successful.
“It is only due to the collaborative efforts of these institutions that the dream of holding this event has been materialised into reality.”
Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb voiced hope that people will throng to Pakistan’s cricket stadiums once again because of the PSL final. “The Pakistani nation has great love for cricket. After today’s match, international cricket will return to Pakistan,” she said.
CM Punjab directs stringent arrangements for PSL final at Gaddafi stadium
Mariam Aurangzeb said in her tweet, ‘Welcome to Pakistan.’ She said Pakistani nation have great love for cricket. She said she hopes cricket grounds will throng once again. People are seen interested and excited in Qazafi Ground. International cricket will once again establish after today’s match.
Inter-Services Public Relations chief Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, in a tweet, welcomed foreign players who came to Lahore to play in the PSL final. “Sports promote peace,” he added.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan too appreciated the participation of the public in the PSL final even though he had earlier criticised the Punjab government’s decision to hold the match in Lahore.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2017.