People of Pakistan will decide what kind of country they want: John Kerry
Visiting Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator John Kerry has said that the extreme secrecy surrounding every aspect of the US raid in Abbottabad was essential to protect the lives of the professionals who were involved and ensure that they succeed in capturing Osama bin Laden.
In a statement before the media after talks with the Pakistani civilian and military leadership here on Monday, John Kerry said no American President can afford the slightest chance to slip the chance. He said even members of the US military team were not informed. He said he also learned about the operation after it was over.
He said it was not a matter of lack of trust in Pakistan but imperative of operational security. He said he respect the disappointment the leadership and asked all Pakistanis to understand the situation.
Kerry said his goal is not to apologize but to talk how to manage the relationship and put it back on track. He said he was pleased that his meetings with the Pakistani leaders including President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, General Kayani and General Pasha have reopened the dialogue and assured US partnership with Pakistan and its people.
He said that the government of Pakistan has recommitted to work together against common threat of terrorism and to explore how to increase cooperation in joint operations in intelligence sharing to defeat the enemies.
John Kerry said these are initial steps and later this week two senior US government administration officials plan to visit Pakistan to expand on these discussions to help develop a new trust and level of cooperation between the two countries. Secretary State will soon announce plans to visit Pakistan and build on these discussions to help develop a new trust and level of cooperation between the two countries, he added.
He said this relationship is not about the threats to the two countries that they face but it is about partnership with the people of Pakistan. He said that was why they came here and provided aid after the Earthquake in 2005 and devastating floods last summer.
He assured that the Kerry-Lugar fund will get on track an will demonstrate our long term commitment to Pakistan.
Senator Kerry said people of Pakistan will decide what kind of country they want, a safe haven for terrorists or a tolerant democratic country as envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
He said they have made progress towards that goal and in the days ahead the progress will be measured by actions not by words.
He said they have agreed on a series of steps that will be implemented and get this relationship back on track.
Kerry said the US remains committed to assist Pakistani people through long term assistance and funding as a mutual partner with shared trust to fight against terrorism.