Pakistanis are euphoric that they recently hosted the Zimbabwe cricket team, after the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore sounded the death knell for foreign cricket team visits to Pakistan. Cricket matches in Lahore’s Gaddafi stadium were sold out, filled with cheering fans. For Pakistanis, this offered a glimpse of the way things were before years of being treated as pariahs because of security problems.
However, as made clear by the foiled attack which killed two people near Gaddafi stadium on May 29, redemption is a long way away. In the past five weeks alone, more than 43 Ismaili Muslims were killed in a gun attack on a bus on May 14; Karachi University assistant professor Wahidur Rahman was killed on April 29; and activist Sabeen Mahmud was shot dead on April 25, all in Karachi. These are only some of the attacks that occurred during this period. All three incidents of violence targeted individuals or groups for their words, actions, or beliefs.