Pakistanis shocked as Sri Lankan Cricket Team is ambushed in Lahore

An ambush targeting the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore earlier this morning has literally sent waves of disbelief and shock across Pakistan. Citizens of Lahore are specifically terrified at the extent of sophisticated weaponry used by terrorists in an incident that caused unprecedented damage to the country’s image and its cricketing future.

 

On its way to Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium for the second test match in series, the convoy carrying Sri Lankan players in a bus was brutally attacked by almost twelve gunmen as it passed through the Liberty Roundabout. The bus was miraculously shielded from about two rocket attacks and serious damage was avoided as Police Security escorts forcefully retaliated twenty-five minutes of heavy gunfire. This, however, did not prevent seven precious lives, including those of five policemen, from being lost while four policemen, five Sri Lankan cricketers, their assistant coach, and a Pakistani umpire sustained injuries. During this mayhem, the team was immediately driven to safety at the Stadium put under heavy guard while two of the injured players were shifted to Services Hospital.

 

According to the police authorities, about twelve terrorists armed with very sophisticated weapons including rocket launchers, hand grenades, Kalashnikovs, mousers and suicide jackets arrived at the scene in rickshaws and attacked the convoy, exactly when it was turning from Main Boulevard to Gadaffi Stadium, from seven directions according to a highly planned strategy.

 

Television footage showed all attackers making an astonishing escape after committing this heinous activity, totally unscathed, from one of city’s most important commercial centers in broad daylight. Many analysts are calling it an unparallel security lapse on behalf of the intelligence agencies and local authorities.

 

The only good news is that all injured cricketers and their assistant coach are stable, out of danger and will be airlifted from Gadaffi Stadium by Pakistan Air Force helicopters to the airport from where they will be safely flown back to Colombo very soon. Sri Lankan foreign minister is on his way to Pakistan to analyze the situation on ground.

 

In 2008, due to the deteriorating security situation and political instability in the country, Australia was the first team to cancel its tour of Pakistan. Then security concerns with respect to safety of visiting players saw Pakistan’s hopes of hosting the second most prestigious cricketing event, Champions Trophy 2008, coming to an end followed by a consecutive cancellation of India’s highly awaited tour of Pakistan earlier this year. After today’s shocking events Pakistan may see its cricketing image plunging to extreme darkness as we might not have any visitors for quite a long time now.

 

Forces behind a crime of this magnitude cannot be taken easily as evidence from the sophistication of weaponry and planning used by the attackers suggests that these terrorists were no ordinary ones. There has to be a comprehensive investigation of a possible internal or external involvement and it has to be conducted as early as possible to prevent future recurrences.

 

We are waiting and watching how the unconcerned politicians are waging a war against the will of common man who does not want anything but security, justice, and only the bare necessities of life at affordable rates. They seem to have little concern with the damage and anarchy their confrontational politics can bring to the already suffering fabric of Pakistani society.

13 Comments so far

  1. crazymonkey on March 3rd, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

    Thank God cricket is finally dead in Pakistan. Time to play football and give those crooked Pakistani legs some much needed exercise.


  2. sceptic on March 3rd, 2009 @ 6:06 pm

    Bastards were scoring too many runs against us. Sri Lankans or anyone else won’t dare score a century, what to talk of double centuries, on the land of the Pure. Ever. A good lesson to anyone who still thinks of visiting our country — which obviously is ONLY and ONLY meant for the pure, righteous and proud Muslims, and nobody else. Now world should know that our heroes are Fazlullah and Mesud; our role model is Afghanistan of 1996; and our goal is Janat, quick and fast. There is no place for a satanic game of cricket which was created by yahud-o-hunood to destroy the good values of our impeccable Islamic youth.

    HM – May I say that the use of phrase “literally sent waves of disbelief and shock” looks absurd since there was nothing shocking or unbelievable in this attack. Excuse me if I am wrong but that’s a known and imminent fear that has been keeping most of the cricket teams from touring our peaceful land. It is not for the first time that members of a touring cricket team were victims of a terrorist attack in Pakistan. It is not far back when a visiting New Zealand team witnessed 12 French submarine engineers getting blown up in a suicide attack while waiting for a bus in front of their hotel to take them to the National Stadium in Karachi. Some members of the contingent received injuries from flying shrapnel. The use of phrase “waives of disbelief and shock” may be more appropriate if such incident happens in Australia or New Zealand.

    Ditto for the cliché “unprecedented damage to the country’s image and its cricketing future”. There is no image left intact for Pakistan that can be damaged. None. Zilch.

    Our propensity to out-do ourselves in daily absurdity is simply becoming sickening for the whole world. There is no bigger nuisance for the world at the moment, and our big population, nuclear arsenal, lack of political guts to eliminate religious terrorism, etc are just working to build up our nuisance value. Pakistan is a threat for the whole world. Long live our self-righteousness and the mentality of perpetual victimhood.


  3. durranee on March 3rd, 2009 @ 6:06 pm

    I’m shocked at the same time ashamed
    It is just embarassing!
    When no other teams were willing to visit Pak, Lanka tried to help us out and…
    My apologies to Lanka team as a Pakistani


  4. Hasan Mubarak (hasanmubarak) on March 3rd, 2009 @ 7:22 pm

    @crazymonkey: Football all the way, but without an ambush on cricket :)

    @sceptic: Yes, we have been witnessing terrorism for too long but never before has sports been targeted and directly hit as today. That is what comes as a shock!!

    @durranee: It is shocking, indeed, but there is hardly anything we can do to prevent such events unless our politicians pledge their patriotism, progress towards non-confrontational politics and unless we have a serious review on our foreign policy, specifically w.r.t War on Terror…


  5. Reporters (unregistered) on March 3rd, 2009 @ 8:16 pm

    Sri Lanka cricket team attack: ‘Someone wants Pakistan to fail’…

    Bloggers react with anger and despair to the deadly gun attack in Lahore, its possible causes and its…


  6. Sports (unregistered) on March 3rd, 2009 @ 8:17 pm

    Sri Lanka cricket team attack: ‘Someone wants Pakistan to fail’…

    Bloggers react with anger and despair to the deadly gun attack in Lahore, its possible causes and its…


  7. Front Page News (unregistered) on March 3rd, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

    Sri Lanka cricket team attack: ‘Someone wants Pakistan to fail’…

    Bloggers react with anger and despair to the deadly gun attack in Lahore, its possible causes and its…


  8. kaami on March 3rd, 2009 @ 9:22 pm

    Dead on sceptic and the irony is that nobody still has the guts to even point the finger in the right direction. For this, all those who did not support the State against the Lal Masjid thugs are responsible, all those who lauded the Swat deal are responsible and all those who cherish Mehsud, Fazlullah, Osama and Omar are responsible. Last and not the least, all those who provide justification and cover for such acts are responsible.

    It is indeed shocking for Lahorites, because they escaped the turmoil of the 80’s and 90’s. The establishment at that time made sure that no bad Afghan influence falls on this city / province. Consequently, no mega refugee camps were allowed here, as Quetta, Peshawar and Karachi beared the brunt. Now things have changed, the fanatics have literally taken over Quetta and Peshawar. They are finding it hard to operate in Karachi / Sindh ( which has exhibited zero tolerance for their activities ), so the next logical area of operations is Punjab, where their soul mates have been generating sympathy for their cause and obviously some of them are also providing sanctuary.

    I wont be surprised if Zardari will be dragged into this soon, yeh tou Zardari ne Karaya he!


  9. kaami on March 3rd, 2009 @ 9:28 pm

    Lo and behold Zardari is mentioned in the Poll by Teeth Maestro of PTI. Yet again the motive behind the survey seems to be to deflect responsibility from the obvious to obscure….Look at RAW they are being hammered …What a joke!


  10. Attack on Srilankan Cricket Team impacts scheduled events in Lahore « We’re PARTYLICIOUS! Are you? (pingback) on March 4th, 2009 @ 9:10 am

    [...] has been one of the most messed up days in quite some time for us Lahoris. We’ve experienced unabashed and in-your-face terrorism right at our door step and it breaks our heart. Security lapses, agencies, foreign hands, controversies, puppet [...]


  11. tperacha on March 4th, 2009 @ 11:54 pm

    @kammi –

    Your fasnication with Mullah just amazes me. In your beloved Karachi, MQM could go on and on with their ethnic cleansing of Pushtuns, but I don’t hear a single beep from you on that.

    And what could the so called terrorists have achieved from this attack? They just had a truce with the government (which obviously you consider to be their victory) so why spoil your moment of glory?

    This has been a pattern now. The day government makes peace with the Talibans/terrorists all the Western powers started barking that this isn’t acceptable. While its okay for them to have a pact with al-Sadr in Iraq because that saves the US LIVES.

    This incident could not have happened if Mr. Taseer wasn’t too busy enjoying his Governor RAJ. I guess Musharraf is gone, but even to this day his legacy and barbaric acts haunt this country.


  12. kaami on March 5th, 2009 @ 3:00 am

    @tperacha

    I fully understand the distortion of my nick entails. Because that’s what exploited class is called by the landed elite, therefore, I don’t mind.

    Secondly, if you follow my posts at any blog there is never an ethnic touch or hate mongering. However, as for the question of Ethnic cleansing of Pakhtoons in Karachi, I am sure the size of their population and the arms at their disposal they can create hell themselves, as they did after BB’s assassination.

    But this is not about ethnic tensions, ethnic riots and cleansing have a long history not only in Pakistan but also the whole Sub-continent. Compared to the last big cleansing in Bangladesh the current tensions are miniscule, and that’s not my worry. Ethnic bad mouthing and prejudices are part and parcel of our culture, and if we are able to limit the damage when they explode, we shall be ok.

    However, I agree, due to the track record of Jamaat (Zia’s time) in Karachi, where they totally ignored the problems of the city and got busy recruiting its youth for Jihaad. During the same period the massacres committed by the Afghan Drug mafia (under the patronage of General Fazl-e-Haq) has resulted in zero tolerance policy for any such group. And that has made a difference, not long ago Karachi was the largest AQ base outside of Afghanistan, All the Osama CD’s emanated from there, all the major hotels of the city were attacked, core commanders convoy was attacked, consulates were bombed, Shia’s were killed, other non-combatant sunni sects were killed. In all this law enforcement was no where, police and rangers were helpless and guess, members of which political party were providing safe houses and logistic support to international terrorists? Something needed to be done and it was done by the people with enormous sacrifices from the youth. You mentioned MQM and I remembered Mian Sahib was once fully involved in its affairs, he personally provided refuge to the MQM-Haqiqi guys in Lahore, some of them were his personal guests and were sent back on army jeeps, that ploy failed. Is hammaam mein sub nungey he, meray bhai.

    Personally, I am one of the remnants of the long lost left of this country, as this nation drifts more and more towards the extreme religious right, I can only helplessly watch and bug you with my comments. As I have lived in three provinces of Pakistan (including Lahore) and have friends with diverse backgrounds, therefore, racial prejuidice is not my forte. However, I do take sides and am rarely caught in the middle.

    Also I agree to the incompetence of the govt in this episode, but why blame Mush for that. If it was upto him none of these folks would have returned, he was pressured from all side and this is what you get. Not long ago Nawaz, BB and Zardari were behaving like long lost friends / brothers and sisters, what happened to that? If Nawaz has listened to Qazi he would not have even elections.

    The problem with negotiating with Taleban or AQ or the Lal Masjid Folks is what can you negotiate? You can negotiate a temporary truce that’s all. They are not demanding autonomy or freedom 0r rights or money. What they are demanding goes against the very foundation of the State. If you are happy with that give them what they want. They want you! They want your soul! If you are ok with that be my guest.

    However you cannot compare this scenario with Iraq / Sadr or even Afghanistan. Remember my friend Pakistan is a Nuclear State and in the present circumstances the world will never allow a Mullah to get even close to our Nuclear assets. By the world I mean US, China, UK, Russia, Europe, India, Iran, Turkey, Syria……So good luck my friend.


  13. kaami on March 5th, 2009 @ 3:23 am

    Also this incident did not happened in just one day, it requires planning, safe houses, local support, logistics and planning. This means such groups taking advantage of the past two years comic instability have managed to establish a foot hold in Punjaab.

    This attack is also perfectly designed to jolt an already falterring govt. Plus the obvious benefit of extending chaos further inside Pakistan…..They are not interested in elections, or this or that system, they are woeing for revolution and a bloody one at that. After Swat their morale is high.



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