Lahore has witnessed five attacks this year. The latest of these was the August 7 blast inside a truck on Bund Road, which was on the route that ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was originally going to take, before switching his rally to GT Road. The blast left one dead and over 45 injured.

A couple of weeks before that 26 people were killed, over 50 injured in a suicide bombing near Arfa Software Technology Park.

The three blasts before targeted a census team on Bedian Road, pharmaceutical manufacturers’ protest on Mall Road, a café in Z-Block DHA – all roughly 15-minute radii from Gaddafi Stadium, which is all set to host high-profile athletes over the next three months.

Yesterday, PCB Chairman Najam Sethi confirmed that the much touted ICC World XI would be touring Pakistan next month, which would be followed by Sri Lanka “playing at least one T20 in Lahore” in October, and then a three-match series against the West Indies in November.

If five attacks in seven months is how the ICC security team defines “safe”, one wonders why Pakistan hasn’t been hosting international cricket all along?

While the current regime, especially at the PCB, would, deservedly, peddle this an achievement despite the continued turmoil, it’s hard to imagine what Pakistan would achieve by successfully hosting international cricketers inside these artificial fortresses.

Just like the PSL final, and the Zimbabwe tour – which still managed to squeeze in a terror attack outside the stadium – the cricket events coming up later this year are synthesised under unnatural conditions. And the cost to fabricating those conditions would run in the billions, with the only possible achievements being the creation of a false sense of security to lure more international teams and a few servings for the cricket hungry masses.

But the question marks over hosting the PSL final that had been shushed away following the unquestionable feel-good event that it turned out to be, will now resurface.

What are we trying to achieve by creating a scenario where we are one wrong incident away from basically a point of no return for international cricket in Pakistan?

Is it an election gimmick being sold to the masses, to create an aura of normalcy, where none exists?

Or is it a parallel dimension that we are creating where terrorism and cricket can coexist, while taking turns to occupy mutually exclusive spaces?

Is this the reality of a new Pakistan where joy and celebration can only be simulated under multi-tier security, and the interval between the jubilations would continue to be thronged by the sound of falling dead bodies?

Such viewpoints are usually binned as overly pessimistic at best and downright treasonous at worst.

The counterargument being: how else are we going to return to normalcy if we continue to shy away from potential threats? It continues: The best way to defy terror is to not be terrorised.

No, the best way to defy terrorism is to eradicate it. The easiest way to generate an aura of safety for Pakistan, with regards to foreign athletes, is to actually make it safe.

The PSL final was preceded by two blasts in Lahore, within a month of the match. Ronaldinho and Friends played two football matches in Pakistan, with their Lahore leg sandwiched between two other blasts.

Would each of the three upcoming cricket series be similarly scheduled so as to not overlap with the timetable of the jihadists?

We should also ask if this agreement is actually formalised with the terror groups, for the current Punjab government has been known to have similar arrangements with jihadists and their Islamist fronts in the past.

Just the fact that we’ve been talking about Lahore and Punjab alone, further outlines the hollowness of this plan.

Only 10 days ago, ISIS bombed Quetta. The greatest terror threat in the world, the most vicious jihadist group, that is being battered in the Middle East and is slowly capitalising on the perpetual vacuum along the Af-Pak border, killed 15 people in a Pakistani provincial capital, and we’re claiming that the country is safe to host international cricket, by splurging serious money on mirages of peace?

Let’s hope a few years from now this era is listed as a transition period between a terror-struck and a stable Pakistan. If not, this coexistence between cricket and terrorism, is neither sustainable, nor worth it.