WASHINGTON - Senator John Kerry, President Barack Obama’s pick for next Secretary of State, Thursday dismissed a proposal that US stop aid to Pakistan until Islamabad complied with Washington’s demands, saying such a ‘sledgehammer approach’ was not the way to deal with issues.“Rather than cut aid, which is a pretty dramatic, draconian, sledgehammer approach to a relationship that really has a lot of interests ... we have our ground lines of communication - roads - that go to Afghanistan and that route is critical to our supply to our troops ... we have in addition to that intelligence cooperation.” Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is holding his confirmation hearing.The senator was responding to the suggestion by Republican Senator Rand Paul seeking an end to aid to Pakistan until Dr Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani physician involved in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, was released.“We need to build our relationship with the Pakistanis, not to diminish it,” he added.The confirmation of Kerry, who has wide support in the US Congress, is expected to sail through the committee with any problems.Kerry also said the initial Pakistani help was important to US in ultimately eliminating the al-Qaeda chief. He said Pakistan does not get enough credit for its counterterrorism role.Kerry said he raised the issue of Dr Afridi’s imprisonment with the Pakistani leadership. He said he also found Dr Afridi’s being jailed incomprehensible as the doctor had helped find Osama bin Laden. But, Kerry told the panel, Pakistanis say Dr Afridi did not know who he was specifically targeting and whatever he did was just by way of business.He reminded the Senate panel that Pakistan has lost in the last year 6000 people in their efforts to go after terrorists. They lost about 30,000 people over the last several years. There are things that Pakistanis have done, he said.“As complicated as the relationship has been, now I think, I intend to raise the issue of Dr Afridi with them. But I am not going to recommend, nor do I think it is wise for American policy, to just cut our assistance. We need to build our relationship with the Pakistanis, not to diminish it.”“Our folks were able to cooperate on the ground in Pakistan. That is one of the ways we were able to get Osama bin Laden. I don’t think the Pakistanis have got credit sufficiently for the fact that they were helpful. It was their permissiveness in allowing our people to be there that helped us to be able to tie the knots that focused on that, to some degree, not exclusively obviously, but to some degree.”In response to a Senator Barbara Boxer’s question, Kerry also said he would support her proposal for legislation on advancing an education plan for girls in Pakistan, following the courageous struggle Pakistani girls’ rights activist Malala Yousafzai, who is now under treatment in a British hospital.In his opening statement, he said the US foreign policy is not defined by drones and deployments alone but also by Washington’s economic development partnership and humanitarian missions around the world.Discussing the US campaign against al-Qaeda, Kerry said the US has decimated the core al-Qaeda leaders and could further weaken the core of the terrorist outfit in the next months. He said drones alone will not be able to wipe out al-Qaeda threat. “But it takes a focused effort, it takes perseverance, doesn’t happen overnight.”On US end goals in Afghanistan, Kerry said it is a two-fold mission – to turn over security responsibility to Afghan forces and continue the counterterrorism mission.“Our troops in the near term, at some point this year, would not be in the lead,” and will no longer lead the offensive activities, he said. He said the counterterrorism mission would continue.