The feel-good factor is certainly there. Pakistan seems to be returning to normalcy and life, which had been so marred since the war of terror took its toll on the nation, is now getting bold enough to lift its head and do the one thing it is meant for: living.
The staging of the exhibition match in Miranshah, as symbolic as it actually is in giving hope to the millions of Pakistanis, is one great step in the right direction.
The efforts of the Pakistan Army in their drive to eliminate the terrorists from the country have been commendable and it is the effectiveness of that campaign which can be seen in small, yet highly significant, steps like these where first international stars came to the country in the form of the World XI and now a cricket match has taken place in an area everyone had given up on life ever returning to normal — North Waziristan.
The staging of the match in the administrative headquarters of FATA — Miranshah — shed light on something other than war and terror and provided a welcome break to the local populace, who were eager to step out of their homes and enjoy the comforts of something as simple as watching a cricket match without having to worry about any horrific incident happening while on a recreational outing.
While many would take such a simple thing for granted, the people of Pakistan, especially those who resided in the terror-affected areas, have been deprived of this since more than a decade.
The good news is that those horrors seem to be part of the past now and the future now doesn’t seem as distraught as it seemed not such a long time ago.
Now many would claim that we should not get carried away as nothing substantial has changed in the country, and while they might have a valid point in that claim, it is still better to have something positive happening rather than nothing happening at all.
It is true that there is a long road ahead when it comes to Pakistan ever returning to normalcy but what must not and should not be forgotten is that ‘a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step’; and this without a doubt is one step in the right direction.
The entire effort deserved to be lauded and lauded it has been as every single person in the country more than appreciated the gesture and is now looking forward to more of the same happening across the country.
There is still a lot of work to be done as terror is a threat which can raise its ugly head anytime, but it is still refreshing to see, even if for a brief moment, the smiles on the faces of the people and the hope emanating in their hearts and the chants of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ echoing across the valleys of Pakistan; valleys which had heard very little other than the sounds of ruin.
To the future it is then.