THE terrorist attack on GHQ turned out to be much graver than had been initially given out. That it was dealt with efficiently and with least amount of lives lost reflects on the professionalism and competency of the Pakistan military - from whom the US and NATO forces could learn a few lessons in asymmetric warfare, rather than the other way round. Nevertheless, there are some disturbing issues that arise, beginning with the issue of a security lapse. Clearly intelligence reports had pinpointed to such an event happening and a news item to this effect had even been printed in the media. So what went wrong to allow a security breach to occur? The hostage crisis may have been resolved effectively, including the successful taking out of a potential suicide bomber, but the fact that the hostages were taken in the first place raises concerns about security surrounding such a sensitive area. Valuable lives of military men and some hostages were also lost in the process, including two officers which shows that the Pakistan army commands from the front. The links are not simply a straight line to Waziristan; rather there are too many interconnections and trails, especially in terms of weapons (which will provide the clearest clues regarding the actors involved), leading to foreign players. Therefore it is time the state of Pakistan put greater controls over all foreign entities and their activities. With too many foreign covert boots in and around Islamabad and its surrounding areas, the threat of such operatives accessing sensitive targets and the people in them has been multiplied. Equally disturbing has been the absence of the Interior Minister from the scene of the attack. He remained in Lahore throughout Saturday and then departed for Singapore in the midst of the crisis. He may have needed to attend the Interpol Assemblys annual Ministerial Meeting in Singapore on 12 October, but it could hardly be more relevant than being in Pakistan and on the scene? This has an eerie air of similarity to his disappearance at the time of Ms Bhuttos murder. On the one hand, the government has been desperately seeking to bring the military under its total control - some would say even attempting to use the US for this purpose as reflected in the Haqqani-KLB drafting connection - but at a time when the civilian Interior Ministry should have been in the forefront of handling the GHQ terrorist attack and its fallout, including handling the media, its Minister decides not to cancel a foreign trip. How does this reflect on the priorities of the government?