The United Arab Emirates, with its long history of conflict with Pakistan and its long standing mistrust of the Pakistani government, has always been a destination of choice for Western tourists.
In 2008, for example, British Airways Flight 583 from London to Dubai was hijacked by a Taliban group, resulting in the deaths of almost 3,000 people.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has often cited the threat of terrorism and violence in the country, saying he would use his “unstoppable strength” to fight it.
But in recent years, his government has also been caught off guard by a surge in Islamic extremist attacks.
The latest happened on May 15, when the gunmen opened fire on a tourist bus on the outskirts of the capital, Islamabad.
According to local reports, the attack killed at least 15 people and wounded nearly 30 others.
Tens of thousands of tourists had gathered in the city, but security forces quickly cordoned off the area.
Afterward, a group that had been in the area claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was part of a campaign of violence against the Pakistani people.
It was the latest in a string of such attacks, many of them targeting foreigners.
Last year, Pakistani security forces arrested a group claiming responsibility for a string in June and July, when at least seven people were killed and nearly 50 wounded.
A few weeks earlier, a suicide bomber killed three people and injured six in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city.
Since 2015, the Pakistani Taliban has waged a major offensive against the army and police in the northeast of the country.
On April 5, Pakistan launched a nationwide crackdown on militant groups, arresting more than 1,400 people and cracking down on the trade of arms and fighters.
Despite the heightened security measures, the number of Islamic extremist attack plots has increased.
Earlier this year, a man who authorities say plotted to blow up a Pakistani government building in the capital city of Islamabad was arrested in Lahori province.
Authorities said he had planned to detonate a bomb near the government building and kill hundreds of government employees.
This is not the first time that a major attack on a government building has been thwarted by the Pakistani security services.
Pakistan has been on high alert in the aftermath of the May 15 attack.
Following the attack on the tourists, the army launched a massive manhunt for a man wanted for a series of other attacks on civilians.
He was later arrested, and later, on May 31, a police station was stormed by armed men.
At least 12 people were also killed and over 100 wounded in the attacks.