But police have neither the means nor the independence to do so, she continues. Police have told ICG that since Sept. 11, 2001 the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency has been given most of the power to deal with counterterrorism.
Even before Monday's attacks, the police had paid a price for its role in the investigation of the Mumbai attacks. Last week a suicide bomber targeted an Islamabad police station at the center of the investigation. One policeman who thwarted the bomber from entering the building died in the blast.
The two Lahore attacks suggest the police are outgunned and outwitted by an increasingly sophisticated breed of militants. Monday's attack suggests careful planning, down to the blue uniforms and timing during a parade of unarmed trainees.
The cricket attacks caught police flatfooted, despite official promises there would be top-notch security for the game. Instead, nearby police failed to respond in time to prevent the gunmen from casually getting away, though police on the scene did manage to protect the cricketers.
"It's a new generation of terrorists – better equipped with better planning and better coordination," says Pakistani security expert Ayesha Siddiqa. The attack "makes a case for better equipping the police and training them."
Injured police in hospitals remain in shock over the attack, which took place close to the Indian border in the town of Manawan.
"Eight hundred of us were parading the ground when the attack began. I was injured in my leg and just ran for my life," says constable Abid, speaking from his hospital bed.
As with the Mumbai attacks of November, television stations beamed live images of security forces caught in a protracted standoff against a handful of terrorists. Pakistani Interior Ministry advisor Rehman Malik boasted that the commando counterstrike ended "in four hours" compared to the Indian response in Mumbai, which took more than three days.
The standoff ended after Pakistani forces killed three gunmen and captured at least three more. Three of the gunmen blew themselves up.