Criticism from the opposition, security threats, and foreign players refusing to play in Pakistan; yet there was no force that could stop the PSL final from happening in Lahore. It brought a lot of cricket enthusiasts together from all corners of the country, and after a long time we witnessed the crowd cheering in unity.

As critical as the situation was, the final was able to bring home some good news as well. We witnessed unprecedented security specialisation. The five tier security setup worked its wonder; there were no security glitches and, as promised, the event was a huge hit. It reinforced the people’s faith in our law enforcement agencies. It also proved that international players can play cricket here without any safety concerns.

The result of such excellent security arrangements was that Qatar’s Prime Minister, Qatar Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al Thani, showed interest in taking help from the Pakistani military in the security domain for the upcoming FIFA World Cup. This is a huge step towards the improvement of Pakistan’s image in the global political arena.

It all but proves that years of battling the terrorists has borne fruit – our security forces are battle-tested and experts in providing security when needed. The past few months saw an upsurge of extremist attacks, the people were scared and there were unconfirmed reports of further threats coming in; hosting the PSL final in this atmosphere was termed madness. Yet here we stand, with meticulous security exercise successfully completed with unforeseen benefits also materialising.

Pakistan being perceived as a secure country is necessary for the inflow of investment and other opportunities. And if countries are even considering importing our security expertise, the army and the police and all those responsible for providing security at the final must be thoroughly commended.