Despite criticisms and the allegations of a security situation, Pakistan was able to deliver. For one day, Lahore shone bright as people celebrated cricket coming home in the PSL final. Stringent security measures were taken, replacements were provided by PCB for the foreign players, and the best of all was that Lahore was not locked down.

The Mall Road attack earlier had shaken the public’s confidence in the security forces and this event was crucial in getting that confidence back – not just for the public but for the morale of the security forces themselves.

For some, the event was marred by spectators who chose to chant slogans of “Go Nawaz Go” during the speech of the PCB Chairman, who to his credit, arranged a safe event for them, and in that moment the chant was petty and tasteless when their own beloved leader Imran Khan boycotted the event. Such uncritical beliefs make people contemptuous and dismissive of PTI’s politics. Though there is enough reason to be disgruntled with the ruling party and its brand of politics, this special sense of outrage by the PTI is always misdirected and ill-conceived.

This was not a time for outrage but to bond as a community. Cricket is what unites us, and gives us hope for regional and political inclusivity. These moments of national unity are few and far between. In Pakistan, recently, we have only seen such national unity after tragedy, like after the Peshawar APS attack. The PSL final was a rare example of unity after joy, and though the euphoria will wear off and we will go back to bickering about our political differences, the Lahore moment will get us through a year that started with terrorist attacks in Peshawar, Lahore and Sehwan.

As promised, the Pakistan army, Rangers and police provided full security and were completely in charge and their dedication and arrangement must be appreciated, as must that of the Punjab government. The confidence they gain from this event must not be lost in the face of the enemy who is unpredictable, but not insurmountable.