A bit late but VH-ZNG flew a nonstop charter from Melbourne to Islamabad, carrying the Australian cricket team en route to their tour of Pakistan.
QF301 left MEL on Saturday 26th Feb at 2140 EDT, arriving in ISB on Sunday at 0503 PKT.
First Aussie tour on Pakistani soil in 23 years.
Quick history for anyone who doesn't know: Due to the security concerns in Pakistan after the 1999 coup and US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Test series were moved to venues outside the country. The Oct 2002 1st Test was in Colombo, and the 2nd/3rd Tests were in UAE (Sharjah).
CA tried again with a Test series scheduled for March 2008 on Pakistani soil, but that was called off due to the worsening security situation in the country from late 2007--Musharraf declaring the a state of emergency that got Pakistan suspended from the Commonwealth, Benazir Bhutto's assassination, suicide bombings before the February general elections, the attack on SL cricketers in Lahore, etc.--so they played the ODIs in April 2009 in the UAE, and the Test series and T20Is in England in July 2010. The next cricket tours (2012, 2014, 2018) were all in the UAE.
I was so gutted when NZ and Eng called off their tours of Pak. At least NZ had a credible reason (the imminent threat to the players), but the ECB decided to be cowards and cite "player fatigue" for their cancellations. Mike Atherton, beloved former Eng captain and Times chief cricket correspondent, rightfully called out the ECB on this.
From an aviation standpoint, I'm pleasantly surprised how the Aus-South Asia sector has grown, there are nonstop flights instead of dumping all the traffic into EK or SQ. AI and UL began nonstops from DEL, BOM and CMB; Qantas returned to India after a 9 year absence. I can't see direct flights to Pakistan being viable, sadly, even with Sydney and Melbourne's large Pakistani and Bangla communities. Not with the return of Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan and certainly not now with the invasion of Ukraine and COVID still around. As much as I'd like to see MEL-CCU, SYD-BLR or MEL-DAC, I don't think there's enough premium O&D demand that can't be handled by EK, TG, SQ, CX, etc.