Biden Bids For More Pakistan Pressure

Vice President Joe Biden was in Pakistan for a short visit which ostensibly was designed to add a slight bit of pressure on the government of Pakistan to become more involved in dealing with Taliban forces that currently use tribal areas as places of refuge from NATO/US attacks in Afghanistan. He urged Pakistan leaders to exert “more pressure on the Taliban from Pakistan’s side of the border.” Even as he spoke in a country which has nuclear weapons, the man who killed Governor Taseer of Punjab province was being hailed as a hero by a wide range of groups ranging from young lawyers to businessmen to clerics. Pakistan is due to receive an additional $7.5 billion in military aid in the coming years. The question must be raised: if Pakistan’s military can not even organize a security guard to protect its leaders, can they organize the security for nuclear weapons? If religious fanatics seize control of nuclear weapons will they be hailed by lawyers and political leaders?

The dilemma is we need Pakistan and we can not trust its leaders. We need Pakistan leaders who can: (a) end corruption in government, (b) foster a positive business climate which will result in expansion of the economy, (c) restructure the military to ensure its leaders are committed to ending terrorism. We doubt if these three aims can be achieved.