ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shaharyar Khan, PSL chairman Najam Sethi, federal, provincial governments and armed forces deserve all the credit for ensuring the grand PSL final in Lahore on March 5.

The staging of PSL final will not only fulfill wishes of cricket crazy nation but also prove to be a slap on the faces of handful miscreants, who wanted to terrorize this brave and cricket-mad nation. They don’t know, when Pakistanis make up their minds, they never back off, while it is also very clear message to all anti-state elements that when it comes to national interests, Pakistanis shun their minor differences and stand up for the national cause.

A few politicians and especially Imran Khan, who is enjoying all this liberty, limelight, fame and respect just because of Pakistan, which provided him chance to represent it internationally and earn good name and fame for him, had opposed the holding of the PSL final in Lahore. A his childish statement by Imran not only spoiled all the good work done by the armed forces and government, but also badly tarnish his already fading image.

Instead of giving such childish statements, Imran should have announced that he would welcome all the international players, ICC delegation and citizens at the main gate of the stadium, but he simply missed the trick. Imran, no doubt, enjoy tremendous respect in cricketing community even today, and his words could have sprung magic and international players and players’ representative association could have paid heed to his words of wisdom, if he had given them simple message that he was ready to welcome them along with other Pakistanis at the gate of the stadium. The statement of Imran regarding PSL final not only hurt the sentiments of the entire nation, but also made huge dents in his already weakening popularity.

People from all walks of life including his best ally Sheikh Rashid have come down hard on Imran and announced to travel to Lahore to witness the final. Sheikh Rashid highly lauded the government’s decision of hosting the final and termed it the biggest joy for the long-suffering masses of the country.

The message must be loud and clear that we are not ready to bow down to terrorists’ desires and ready to give them tit for tat reply. The best form of defence is attack and it is true it doesn’t mean the international cricket will return to Pakistan, but it does mean a lot for the locals, as at least they get a chance of witnessing international players in action in front of them after a very long time as Sri Lanka was the last top class international team to play in Pakistan in 2009. Although Zimbabwe also played in 2015, yet everybody knows that they are the weakest team on earth.

At one hand, the Players Squash Association (PSA) has been describing Pakistan as completely safe for all kinds of sporting events after the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) successfully hosted four $25,000 international events in Pakistan in 2016 and maximum number of top level PSA players featured in them, while the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) also hosting Iran in the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-II at Islamabad and Hong Kong is coming to play the tie in April, then why is the PSL not hosted in Pakistan. The government, PCB and PSL management are determined to stage the mega final, which will certainly be hosted at Gaddafi Stadium in a trend-setting manner.

Now it is the responsibility of every citizen to keep a very close eye on their surroundings and play their role in defeating terrorism menace. One thing is quite clear that Gaddafi Stadium is bound to give bridal look and it will be a super hit event, which will host a great number of cricket crazy fans.