John Kerry to visit Pakistan to mend fences post-Osama

John Kerry
Washington, May 12: Influential American Senator John Kerry will visit Pakistan to mend fences with a resentful Islamabad in the aftermath of the killing of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and seek answers on how the most wanted terrorist came to be there.

While the US has been raising questions on the support system  that bin Laden enjoyed in garrison town of Abbottabad near Pakistani capital, Islamabad has been accusing Washington of violating its air space and attack on its sovereignty.

"A number of people suggested it would be good to get a dialogue going about the aftermath and how we get on the right track," Kerry, who heads the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters yesterday.

"There are some serious questions, obviously, there are some serious issues that we've just got to find a way to resolve together," he said.

Kerry, a close foreign policy aid of President Barack Obama, would meet the top Pakistani leadership including President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yosuf Raza Gilani, besides Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the opposition leaders.

While the Administration is describing the visit by Kerry as an independent initiative, both the White House and the State Department has been in constant touch with his office on this issue.

"We work very closely with Senator Kerry, but as the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he's also independent of us. And we encourage the trip he's making," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

"We think it's important and part of the overall efforts by the United States government to continue our collaborative relationship with Pakistan and the cooperation that we've seen in the past; that while we don't always see eye-to-eye on the issues, that cooperation has led to some very important successes in our war against al-Qaeda,"he said.

"We are working at the administration level to continue our consultations with Pakistani leaders, to continue that kind of cooperation, and are glad to see Senator Kerry make that trip as well," he noted.

"He is head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and traveling in that capacity. We've obviously, as we always do with Senator Kerry, have been in close consultation with him, but he's traveling there in his role as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee head, and nobody's traveling with him," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.


Please Wait while comments are loading...