With sport-obsessed Pakistanis still reeling from today's brazen attack on the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team, one leading terrorism expert has pointed the finger of blame in an unexpected direction.
The Mumbai-style terror attack involved at least 12 militants - armed with AK47s, grenades and rocket launchers - who ambushed a bus bringing Sri Lanka's national team to Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
While the raid bears all the hallmarks of Taliban-linked militants from Pakistan's Northwestern Frontier province, terrorism expert Animesh Roul insists its could be tied to Sri Lanka's ongoing civil war.
Writing on the Counterterrorism Blog, Mr Roul, co-founder of the Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict, said that targeting both Sri Lankans and the sport of cricket was inconsistent with Taliban methodologies.
"Sri Lanka is no way a Western country or ally of USA or UK in the ongoing War on Terror," he noted in the article, adding: "Cricket is not un-Islamic, as this popular sport has nothing to do with any religion."
Speculating on a wider motive for the attack, Mr Roul focused on how the notorious Tamil Tigers - who have waged a decades-long insurgency against the Sri Lankan government - are on the verge of defeat at home.
The military's latest offensive has captured 98 per cent of rebel territory in the Tamil heartland, prompting a flurry of increasingly desperate strikes by the insurgent group. Last month, it despatched two suicide planes in a failed airborne attack on the capital city Colombo.
And when coupled with the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan, Mr Roul argued that the Tigers' looming demise creates a compelling and viable motive for striking at Sri Lankan interests abroad.
"It is not unthinkable to believe that the Tamil rebels have outsourced the task to Islamic terrorists in Pakistan," he wrote.
"Facing severe setbacks at home, Tamil rebels might have planned their last of the remaining arsenals: guerilla tactics at home and at the same time, targeting high profile Lankan personalities … abroad."
Pakistan is widely regarded as the world's foremost terrorism hotspot, usurping even Iraq in the ferocity and frequency of its attacks.
Most of Al Qaeda's senior leaders, including Osama bin Laden, are believed to be holed up in its mountainous border region with Afghanistan, while the country's own intelligence services, the ISI, has repeatedly been accused of having links with terrorist organisations.
In the past year alone, Pakistani militants have committed countless atrocities across the region, slaughtering 170 people in Mumbai; blowing up India's embassy in Kabul; and unleashing a wave of near-daily suicide bombings, beheadings and gun battles at home.
And while this backdrop of violence has inevitably prompted most analysts to blame the Lahore attack on domestic militants, Mr Roul insisted that foreign culpability should not yet be ruled out.
His comments came shortly after Sri Lanka's foreign secretary, Palitha Kohona, told reporters that Tamil Tiger involvement was being looked at as a possible scenario. "We have to wait until Pakistan conclude initial investigations before drawing speculations," he said.
The Tigers have been waging a violent secessionist campaign since 1976, demanding an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka.
Their fighters pioneered the use of suicide bomb vests - later adopted by Islamist militants around the world - and they have been accused of forging ties with several foreign terror outfits, including Al Qaeda.