WASHINGTON - Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and John Kerry, a key US Senator, Thursday underscored the need for building mutual trust to overcome the strains in the relationship between the two countries.Hina, who arrived here Tuesday on a four-day visit, said she had ‘frank’ discussions with Kerry (chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee), and the committee members, reaffirming that Pakistan wanted Islamabad-Washington ties to be based on mutual respect.Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman accompanied the foreign minister to the meeting at the Capitol Hill. Speaking to reporters, Hina reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to peace and security in Afghanistan.“I am encouraged by the frank and honest discussion that we had. I think it is important to have discussion because we had too much mistrust and fears which have inhibited the course of our relations in the past.”She voiced the hope that the “frank and honest discussions,” between the two sides would help “open up new opportunities in pursuing our joint interests.” The people of Pakistan, she said, wanted mutual respect in realigns with the United States and to pursue goals as a sovereign people.“If the US stated objective is peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region then the two countries are pursuing which is also in Islamabad’s interest and a core goal - a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.”The foreign minister emphasised that a peaceful Afghanistan was prerequisite for peace and stability in Pakistan.Underscoring the need for promoting tolerance amidst the unrest triggered by the anti-Islam film, Hina warned fringe elements could force a great wave of chaos. “Islam is a religion of peace and the messenger of Islam Muhammad (PBUH) is the messenger of peace.”Standing alongside the foreign minister, Senator Kerry described the panel’s meeting with Hina as a “positive step” towards trust building, which he added, takes time.Kerry opposed moves by some Congressmen to cut off all aid for Pakistan, arguing that does not provide the way forward in the relationship.“Walking away is simply not the option, and we are not going to do that.,” he said firmly.But, he added, Congress wants assurances from Pakistan that the countries will work together towards common goals and to foil terrorism plans to make both countries safer.“We need to renew and reaffirm our mutual commitment to working together in order to make both our countries safer.”The Democrat from Massachusetts strongly condemned the sacrilegious contents in an anti-Islam film, which has been made in the United States and whose circulation on the Internet has led to widespread protests in the Islamic world. He said there is room for protests (against the film) but no room for violence and taking lives.On Pakistan-US bilateral relations, Kerry, a former presidential candidate noted that the members of foreign relations panel had “a very frank, extensive, extremely productive” conversation with Pakistan’s chief diplomat.He acknowledged the efforts of Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman and the foreign minister towards improving the bilateral relations.“We are working hard to get this relationship back on track (after a difficult year) because we know the importance of the relationship.”“We are grateful to Pakistan for reopening the supply routes for our troops in Afghanistan.”He also appreciated Pakistan’s key counterterrorism cooperation, particularly against al-Qaeda militants along the Afghan border and intelligence sharing in the fight against terror. The US, he said, is also “very appreciative of the swift response in recent days by Pakistani security (apparatus) to help protect the American consulates” in the face of demonstrations.