By all appearances, he passed on an opportunity to say anything specific about the case of Asia Bibi, or the blasphemy law. Earlier, he did go out of his way to emphasize that “we are not the enemies of Islam.” Substantive demands for the sake of human rights might jeopardize the photo-op.
Biden also said the U.S. wants to help Pakistan restore its sovereignty. Pakistan has abdicated its sovereignty over its frontier provinces in hope of achieving peace there and leveraging the country’s numerous jihadist groups against India. They seem too busy with that to care about how much of a country they have left outside of their claims on Kashmir.
But the standard policy continues, of hoping Pakistan will come around if we are patient and friendly enough, and sufficiently generous in our willingness to throw good money after bad. Hope, as the military adage goes, is not a method. “US patience on N Waziristan ops running out: Joe Biden,” from Asia News International, January 13:
ISLAMABAD: Making it clear that the US patience is running out over Pakistan’s indecision on military action against terrorist sanctuaries in North Waziristan, US Vice President Joe Biden has unequivocally told his interlocutors in Islamabad that the Americans would not wait indefinitely.
During his press conference alongside Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Biden sought to dispel a conception that the United States had drawn the country into war, saying that violent extremists were not a threat only to the US, but also to Pakistan and the entire civilised world. He stressed that al-Qaida and the Taliban continued to pose a threat to the US and its interests from their safe havens in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
“They (al-Qaida) continue to plot attacks against the United States and our interests to this very day and they have, not with your help, but they have found refuge in the most remote portions of your country,” the Dawn quoted Biden, as saying.
Attempting to make the Pakistanis wake up to the threat posed by extremists to the country and its people, he cautioned: “Societies that tolerate such actions wind up being consumed by those actions.”
Biden had set the tone for the Islamabad trip by voicing concern in Kabul over Pakistan being too soft with the Taliban.
“It is going to require more pressure on the Taliban from Pakistani side of the border than we have been able to observe so far,” the vice president had said in the Afghan capital.
In an apparent reference to the drone attacks and occasional intrusions by NATO jets seen by Pakistan as a violation of its sovereignty, Biden said that Washington was working with Islamabad to restore sovereignty violated by extremists….