LAHORE - The other night it looked as if the Lahore airport had been attacked by terrorists. The quivering windowpanes and reverberation of heavy gunfire all led to the assumption that not everything was well in the sprawling city. Most of the residents in the vicinity of the airport were fast asleep, but woke up on hearing a heavy artillery fire. What had happened, they asked anxiously.

There was a brief pause, and then the fire restarted with full force. In a state of utter confusion and fear, people switched on their televisions to know what had gone wrong. On their television screens they found images of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyib Erdogan and members of his delegation at the Allama Iqbal International Airport being flashed. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif along with his cabinet members was also there to receive the Turkish guests.

Though the situation at the airport seemed perfectly under control, but there was no end to the deafening sound of gunfire in the background.

People heaved a sigh of relief when a ticker on the television read: “The Turkish prime minister is being accorded 21-gun salute on his arrival.” “Oh, that was what had frightened us,” people asked each other.

Then there was a beautiful display of fireworks at the airport to welcome the guests. It would have been better had the authorities informed the area people in advance, especially those residing in Askari-X, about this bombastic welcome arranged for the Turkish guests.

Meanwhile, stringent security measures were made in the provincial metropolis overnight with security personnel deployed at all important roads before the Turkish prime minister’s arrival in the metropolis.

The visiting premier is accompanied by prominent Turkish businessmen.