March 06 , 2017
First step in bringing Pakistan back to sports arena: Nawaz
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday said the nation has risen stronger, more united and more prosperous against all the odds, all the fear and division on the night of Pakistan Super League (PSL) final.
In a statement issued by the PM's Office, he said over the past four years, "We have become stronger, safer and more stable, creating an environment conducive to national aspirations."
"Today, Pakistan proved to the world that our days of isolation are over," he said, adding cricket is a sport dear to all of us."
"Cricket is a sport near and dear to all of our hearts, and I am glad that our administration has provided people with an ability to experience the exhilaration and passion of their favorite sport. This is the first step in creating putting Pakistan back on the map within the sporting arena and a positive sign for the future to come," he said.
Nawaz expressed his pleasure that the administration has provided the people with an ability to experience the exhilaration and passion of their favourite sport.
"This is the first step in putting Pakistan back on the map within the sporting arena and a positive sign for the future to come," the statement quoted him as saying.
Earlier, Nawaz and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan took an aerial view of Gaddafi Stadium to "witness the arrangements".
Later, the prime minister flew to Islamabad on a special flight.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif made a surprise visit of the stadium and to check security measures.
According to media reports, provincial law Minister Rana Sanaullah and PSL Chairman Najam Sethi also accompanied the CM. Officials said the CM visited the venue and reviewed arrangements. He was briefed over security plan and other arrangements. Holding the final in Pakistan had drawn criticism from some quarters, after a series of militant attacks in February left 130 people dead and broke a long lull in violence that had encouraged authorities.
The match also generated excitement around the country, with giant screens erected in market places in major cities and social-media users tweeting under the hashtag #CricketComesHome.
"And we won the battle against terrorism today," said user @ManalAyub4, echoing a common sentiment.
It was just outside this ground almost exactly eight years ago that Pakistan cricket suffered its worst blow when Islamist militants opened fire on a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers, killing eight people and wounding nine, including six visiting players.
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