Lahore: Pakistan paid homage to the victims of the deadly terror attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team on Thursday on the second anniversary of the tragic incident.
The Pakistan Cricket Board organised a special memorial service for the victims of the incident that took place at the Liberty roundabout as the Sri Lankan team bus coasted towards the Gaddafi stadium, just half a kilometer away.
"We honour the courage and bravery of our departed heroes. We will never forget," read a banner displayed by PCB at the site of the tragedy.
The memorial service was attended by employees of the board and families of the six Pakistani policemen and a van driver who were killed in the terrorist attack, in which seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach were also injured.
Paying tributes to the victims and their families, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt said, "Two years ago precious lives were lost in one of the deadliest attack on our soil.”
"It was a tragedy that will be forever seared in our collective conscious."
"We pause to remember the victims, to grieve with the families and friends of those who died, and to honour the heroes of that day who have sacrificed to save lives and serve their country," Butt added.
The attacks meant the suspension of all international crickets in Pakistan and the country was stripped of its share of 2011 World Cup. It was also forced to play its home series in neutral venues, mainly in the United Arab Emirates.
The PCB chief said despite the passage of time, the grief and sense of loss is still as fresh as ever.
"The considerable damage caused to Pakistan cricket because of the attacks will take time and concerted efforts to mitigate," Butt said.
Butt said PCB was grateful to Sri Lanka Cricket for showing their interest to tour Pakistan again despite their team coming under attack from armed militants on that day.
He added that the courage and sacrifice shown by the martyrs will never be forgotten.
"We stand united with the families and loved ones of those that we lost that day. As we remember our departed heroes our thoughts and prayers are with them," Butt said.