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Sri Lankan players attack amid a ‘political’ security lapse

lahore-sri-lanka-attackEarly today morning a number of terrorist people on foot attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team as it was approaching Gaddafi Stadium the bus was brutally attacked by almost twelve gunmen as it passed through the Liberty Roundabout.

The bus was miraculously shielded from about two rocket attacks and serious damage was avoided as Police Security escorts retaliated for about twenty-five minutes with heavy gunfire. This sadly resulted in critical injuries to police forces and about five of these selfless public servants lost their lives protecting the lives of our cricketing guests.

Reports initially emerged that quite a number of Sri Lankan players were injured but as the news filtered through two players received serious wounds one was a grazing wound to the chest and the other to the ankle. Remaining players received minor injuries due to flying debris and shrapnel. As of now the Sri Lankan team has been evacuated via a helicopter to Lahore airport for an onwards journey to Sri Lanka via Dubai aboard an Etihad Airways flight

Watching different channels and looking at the footage of the attack, it is clear that religious fundamentalists may have struck yet again. They were armed with hand grenades, rocket launchers, modern rifles and other sophisticated weapons apparently they were with a small beard and looked to belong to Pushtoon origin [?].

Lahore Police was primarily busy in curtailing the political rivalry with PML-N in Punjab for the 12th March Long MarchThe government is claiming that they were able to save the Sri Lankan team and I remain shocked to hear the top Lahore police officers saying that there was no security lapses then one has to wonder how such a disaster could have been orchestrated amid a tight security situation. The team was assured a high level security protocol which should have ideally resembled a mile long blockade as witnessed during the VVIP movement of dignitaries like the President of Pakistan Mr. Zardari and the Prime Minister Gilani. During such movements people are usually stopped well short of the liberty roundabout, almost a few hundred yards away, to now have 12 gun totting individuals making an ambush on the Cricket teams motorcade means a massive security lapse on the part of the local administration

Though one should look at the this disaster in light of the political and bureaucratic changes that took place during the last one week. The Lahore top police’s officers were transferred and new people were brought mainly to suppress the proposed long march of lawyers due on 12 March and resistance by PML-N supporters against the toppling of their Punjab government.

The new top Lahore police officer, a loyalist of PPP has been brought from Quetta, Baluchistan. He has not yet settled properly and his priority was to control the lawyers and other political activists who were demanding an end to Asif Zardari’s and Salman Taseer‘s dictatorial measures. To an extent a very high level meeting was held yesterday between the Punjab governor, police officers and top bureaucrats discussing n how to curtail and stop the proposed long march. It has emerged from yesterdays meeting that their course of action was to go for mass arrests. There was no mention or any discussion on Sri Lankan team security

It is now certain that this tragic event marks the end of Cricket in Pakistan for sometime, the blame game with India is already nearing a frenzy, analysts like Kamran Khan on Geo and Hamid Gul have pointed fingers towards India already. One must note that the attack looks erringly too similar to the Mumbai attack but logically one must understand that this could very well be a cover up to instigate a war of words between India and Pakistan. Our politicians, intelligence agencies and media were blood thirsty looking for an excuse to kick back at India for the Mumbai assault and todays events in Lahore might serve them with an opportunity.

My position on this blame game – is quite honestly – no solution will come through, the bureaucrats will have an endless debate, terrorists will continue to breed and attack again. Both countries, and I mean both India and Pakistan must strengthen their own borders and ensure peace for their own citizens. Blaming the ghost on the other side will not serve any purpose

Kamran Abbassi on cricinfo quite simply summarizes the scenario

The least of the consequences of this disaster is that those who have advocated the continuation of international cricket in Pakistan – including me – have been proved wrong. No international team will now visit Pakistan, and the Pakistan Cricket Board should voluntarily arrange all future tours at neutral venues for the next year, may be longer. This the darkest day in the history of Pakistan cricket and it occurred in a pleasant suburb of Lahore, a once great city of gardens and tranquility,

The brave Sri Lankan team did not deserve this insult, and all sympathies are with their players and the officials who have been injured. Lets hope for a better tomorrow, whilst we watch quietly as the blame game circus starts all over again.


42 Comments

  • Danial Burki |

    This is a shocking attack.

    First, I must express my pride in the bravery shown by the policemen that died today. They may not have been properly prepared for such an attack, but the blame for that goes to their superiors. But the manner in which they sacrificed their lives to protect our guests is commendable. Like the Mall bombing last year, I strongly advocate putting up a memorial on Liberty roundabout with the names of these brave policemen.

    Second, on behalf of Pakistan, my sincerest apologies to the Sri Lankan cricketers, who ignored all calls by other countries and security agencies to not tour Pakistan. They were here as our guests, showing solidarity with us when the rest of the international cricketing community abandoned us. They did not deserve this. What goes even more in their credit is their response: they all said they do not regret coming to Pakistan despite this shocking attack.

    Lunatics like Hameed Gul and Qazi Hussain Ahmad and other politicians (with the notable, surprising and noble exception of Altaf Hussain) are doing the rounds on TV, constantly pointing to the "khufia hath". There is mounting evidence that these attacks were perpetrated by locals, and were clearly intended to humiliate the Pakistani government and terrorise the population. These idiots first said that India orchestrated the attack in Mumbai, and now they are saying that India did this as 'revenge'. Why the hell would India want revenge for something it did itself? That there is not a single anchor sharp or educated enough to point out these gaping holes in their shameless jingoistic 'logic' is disappointing, to be mild.

    I live five minute away from where this happened, and like other Lahoris, I am shaken. But we must persevere, we must honour the sacrifice of our brave policemen, and we must defeat the menace of terrorism.

  • farrah k raja |

    I have just one question ,"Why India bycott Pakistan cricket team after Bombay attacks even before any proofs were given?It was immediate effect."

    After this attack right outside Pakistan Criket stadium on a Guest team spells out one thing to me,

    "Isolate Pakistan on games front as well"

    Also think people why would Taliban or anyone from Pakistan will choose this as a target.

    When they could kill maximum people on train station or on the bus addah.

    That would not be high profile.Now think again is Taliban looking for attention ,or wish to be on centre of stage,No they are already.

    Think for the third time,who wants Pakistan to be declared a failed state.

    Also remember Gen Kiyyani and Shah Mahmood Qureshi were just on the visit to USA.

    Someone is definitely not liking it.

    That someone is not Pakistanis,Talibaan or Nawaz???

    One outcome from all this is sure now ,Pakistan would not be hosting 2011 Cricket match.

    But than can Sri Lanka?With the genocide and mass murder going on.

    Can Bangla Desh considering the present scenario of army groups fighting among themselves?

  • Danial Burki |

    Why would the Taliban choose such a target?

    The same reason they kidnapped Chinese engineers.

    The same reason they kidnapped a Polish geologist.

    The same reason they bombed the Danish embassy.

    The Taliban thrive on being the centre of attention; let's not forget – their ultimate tool is terror, and what better way to terrorise people than to attack the most high profile target available that would also gain international exposure.

    Before a formal investigation report is filed, nothing can be ruled out. But at least provide educated guesses instead of re-hashing worn out and laughable conspiracy theories.

  • Danial Burki |

    A slight correction: in the above post, by the Taliban, I mean the Taliban proper as well as their supporting cast, which includes local jihadis as well as Al Qaeda.

  • Imran |

    The main problem i see is that the police was too heavily involved to counter the long march due on 12 march. The terrorists found a security hole and took major advantage of that.

    These taliban have pushed Pakistan one step further to a failed state. The only way this threat can be curtailed is not to negotiate with the taliban as done in swat. where is the military? It should be a shoot to kill order in swat if any problem is found. Now the problem is funneling to the relatively calm areas of the country. I am a patriot; and i will not see my country go down in flames…

  • Danial Burki |

    @Imran: I agree, following our 'peace deal' with the Mullahs of Swat, look at the way they're glaring back at us, issuing ultimatums to release criminals and murderers and demanding that the courts and judges be approved by them. The people of Swat are in for a rough ride; if they supported Sufi Mohammed thinking that he will somehow revive the days of the Wali, they are about to be proved horribly wrong. Given that they are demanding their own brand of sharia, there will be more beheadings, floggings, burning of CD shops and, of course, 'western evil education for girls'.

    We have pandered to these ragtag mullahs long enough. It's time to save Pakistan.

  • magnum360 |

    I took a day off today and when I saw the news in the morning my whole day got ruined. Who did it ? we will never know because these things never come out in Pakistan.There are thousands of examples of that. But as far as my opinion is concerned;Its RAW RAW RAW RAW!!!!!

    One more thing guys someone with a beared is not always a Pukhtun.Mind it. Cmon man its so simple . India kept saying again and again that they are going to hit us with a strategic attack and this is it. Terrorist attack is something else attack sports personals is very serious. Pakistan is standing all alone in this situation. And so the BIg Game against Pakistan continues.

  • Malik Aman |

    RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!RAW RAW!!!!!For how many times i have to yell RAW untill THIS F**king gov believes me

  • Rathore |

    Looks like

    India's response to Pakistan

    TIT FOR TAT

    If it were a suicide attack it may have been lableled as Talibans, but this looks like highly trained professionals and none of them were caught.

  • Vaneet Kundra, India |

    Terrorists have achieved what they wanted to. They never wanted peace loving citizens of India and Pakistan to carry on the composite dialogue. They have an upper hand as on today. Be it Mumbai or Lahore, again innocent people have been targetted. India, never ever would want to destablise Pakistan, as it gives more credence to hardliners and extremist elements. Only a thriving democracy in pakistan is of India's interest. By trying to fail a democracy in Pakistan, what will India gain ? Failed democracy in Pakistan means, rise of Taliban, which is not in the interest of India and the moderate elements in Pakistan. There is some hidden hand, could be LTTE as it gains the most by attacking Sri Lankan team, as they have been completely wiped out in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. They are blood thirsty for Sri Lankans and by hitting the Sri Lankan team in a 3rd country hits Colombo the most and the international community. Could be a strong signal sent by LTTE to Colombo.

  • Rathore |

    Vaneet,

    Just like when India didn't want to destablize Pakistan in 1971.

  • Rathore |

    Vaneet,

    I think this just gives one more reason, why India would benefit from it…

    RAW achieved two targets,

    1–>Tell ISI, that it has the capability to hit insider Pakistan whenever it wants.

    2–>Re-assure Parbhakaran of LTTE that RAW still has the capabilities to help LTTE fight Srilanka.

  • Hamad Dar |

    I do not believe in blame game but recently the Tamil tigers incident and India Sri Lanka relations and Pakistan India relations. This all makes me believe that India could be behind all this. They were angry at "Mumbai Attacks" which proved to be by Pakistani terrorist groups. They were in a fight with Sri Lankans. They didn't have a better chance to screw us both up. So, i am not blaming India but at first instant all I could think of was this scenario. But then some other group can also be behind this who wanted us to think that way? I only feel ashamed for not seeing a single terrorist dying, getting caught, but they all simply ran away :s? what was that? About security I believe it's easy to talk about security and hard to do it but even then the security was not at all good enough. I agree with Dr Sahab about 100 yards thing. If they promised them VVIP security it should have been implemented. I am glad Sri Lankans didn't blame us all for this. Sri Lankan brothers we Pakistanis want only n only peace and we are sorry for what happened.

  • dr.jawwadkhan |

    it seems that india took the revange.hummmm

    india is behind this.i am 100% sure.

    its a retaliation time with unmatched power and brutality.

  • WASIM ARIF / OTHER P |

    I thought it best that ordinary Sri Lankans know of our fury at the evil hence I have been on the main Sri Lankan newspapers and blogs expressing our disgust. I urge you all to do the same.

    My post titled: Pakistan Stands with Sri Lanka is worth a read, see below:

    http://blog.otherpakistan.org/

    Sri Lanka and Pakistan Zindabad

    Wasim

  • Hassan |

    Why India simply doesn't give up the idea of making Pakistan another NEPAL or BHUTAN.

    Long live Srilanka and long live Pakistan

  • Ajay |

    OMG farrah..u r such a dumb lady. Why would Taliban attack the team..Ummm lemme guess…to show their SUPREMACY! To send out a message to outside world that no form of outside intervention is allowed in pak, that Pak is ours!!! Why would they ban music in buses (which according to ur theory maybe to reduce hindi music sales in Pak..LOL). Taliban wants a stone age where only they can rule. Complete supremacy. Use ur tiny brains for once b4 pointing to India. India has IPL league next month. Do u think v r so dumb to jeopardize tht during times of economic slowdown? I know u hate us but give us some credit dear. I saw ur comments on Vaneet's blog praising his love agends but here…back to ur roots, eh mate?? U Pakis will never improve. Glorify Taliban as freedom fighters..well guess what..they r freedom fighters..they r snatching it from u!!!!

  • dr.jawwadkhan |

    "Do u think v r so dumb to jeopardize tht during times of economic slowdown"

    economic slowdown?

    attack in pakistan.

    economic slowdown in india?

    the logic of indians are unique.

    hey ajay!

    your raw has done a great damage.

    now its ISI's turn.

    run and hide indians

    because i feel that new daud ibrahim is about to show his performance.

  • Harlz |

    Like most people I shake my head in disbelief at this cowardly attack on a country's sporting heroes. Why can't everyone just be friends? Why would Indians attack the Sri Lankan team? It doesn't make sense. It's out of control.

  • Ajay |

    dr. u do know that 2011 world cup is under danger being snatched away from Indian subcontinent in wake of terrorist attacks. Now I dont need to explain how much business that generates. U r a doc. I assume u must have taken basic MATH lessons. Luckily they are just attacking Pak. Secondly IPL is due next month(in which btw ur Paki players are not playing due to security lapses as accused by ur govt..Secuirty lapses where?? LOL) Obviously there will be heightened security tensions by foreign players in wake of Lahore attacks. (Also 2010 commonwealth games r due). Our logic is unique, u r right. Durr ki sochte hai hum. Attacking u does not serve us any purpose! Infact we will be in danger to loose all these opportunities. Anyways no one comes to ur land to play matches. what diff does it make anyway..hmmm?? Now come up with RAW crap…poor PAKIS. One form of entertainment..tht too gone! I feel sorry for PAk players. Their career in shambles. BTW India won 1st ODI against NZ…Cheers :))

  • Hamad Dar |

    I liked what Wasim Arif said. I read Sri Lankans comments and went to their blogs. Even though this event occurred they are really thankful to the bus driver. Sangakara said he owes his life to him. Bus driver is the only reason they stayed alive. I am very sorry for what happened. I am glad sri lankans are also supporting us and not blaming us.

  • Ajay |

    Chalo dr atleast u agreed that Dawood Ibhrahim is involved in attacks, and also tht ISI will strike AGAIN. Cheers. Now be a good boy and agree to all the Taliban attacks, USA ass licking, SWAT problems, atrocities, etc….

  • Deepak |

    I want to express my sympathy and sorrow to all who have died. We can do the blame game later.

  • dr.jawwadkhan |

    this is the difference between managing a business and running state affairs.

    america is suffering from downfall of its economy.

    and still spending billions of dollars in afghanistan and iraq.

    statecraft is a different ball game.

    states just wait for right time.they do not wait for economic growth.

    Please do not try to be a smart pant. this is serious.

    if i accept this notion that india is not involved because of some cricket tournaments, then pakistan can not be blamed of planning mumbai attack,because pakistan is striving for its survival.how can pakistan involve in mumbai attacks?

    not convincing for indian govt….

    india started threatening pakistan but thanks for commission mafia which disabled the ability and required resources of indian army.

    after failing surgical stikes when indian army told helplessly that they are not ready for a war or consequences of surgical strikes. india pursued pakistan on diplomatic grounds so hard and even tried to force sri lankans not to go pakistan. and again failed so in the state of despration they attacked our guests which is an extremely shocking for all the pakistanis. Only Indians can be suspected in this scenario.and initial observations and investigations pointing only at India.

    i am sure india has to pay for this,a really heavy price.

  • Danial Burki |

    Dr Jawad, you should immediately start off a comedy blog. The amount of lol's you provide the sane readers of TM is staggering. You truly are an immortal champion of hawai fire. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

  • dr.jawwadkhan |

    hey dany boy,welcome.

    i was expecting your "chonch" since some time.where were you been?..is every thing all right?

    denial,

    i couldn't understand what make you laugh?….any way keep laughing it is good for your health.also please come out from the dark and smelly place.

    keep in touch.

    about the comedy blogg…there is a problem..

    the most funny monkey i know always howls at me,not friendly at all and i do not have another source of entertainment.

  • Danial Burki |

    I've been well, Dr Jawad, thanks for asking. I don't troll all the time because I have a life outside the internet too.

    Don't worry about what makes me laugh, just be yourself. Also, when you 'try' to be funny, it just doesn't work. :)

  • coffee |

    this attack on cricket players makes no sense to me; it seems like this would only harm the image of any organization who did it

  • Danial Burki |

    You would be right, Coffee, if we were dealing with a rational organisation.

    If the terrorists that are crawling across Pakistan were concerned with their image, maybe they'd trim their beards, take a shower once in a while and not unleash violence on girls trying to go to school.

    They thrive on chaos and destruction, because that's all they know. So I doubt 'image building' factors into their decisions.

  • dr.jawwadkhan |

    cofee & denial bhai bhai

    yeh mullah darhi kahan se aaee.

  • Danial Burki |

    Agar tareekh khul ke bataon ga to phir aap ki darhi mein aag lag jai gi, doctor sahib. Rehne dein! Heh

  • SM Imran Zaidi |

    There's no use to play the blame game here. We could blame india all we want; par kabi apne girebaan me bi jhank kar dekhna chahiye. We should not be dealing with school burning taliban, the next thing these people would want is for lahore to be turned into vast plain field where everybody would offer namaz 15 times a day. These people have nothing to do with religion; they are only serving the interest of the american CIA; their illegitimate fathers. We should stop working with america and throw them out of our country. America will never control afghanistan; for all their military might; they do not control more than 25 percent of it. They use these people to provoke attacks in Pakistan to destabilise it and remove the nuclear arsenal.