Kerry heads to Pak to calm diplomatic tension

Senator John Kerry, a close foreign policy aid of the US President, has left for a quick visit to Pakistan amidst strained bilateral ties after Islamabad refused to grant diplomatic immunity to a US official facing murder charge.

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2011, 14:05 PM IST

Washington: Senator John Kerry, a close
foreign policy aid of the US President, has left for a quick visit to Pakistan amidst strained bilateral ties after Islamabad refused to grant diplomatic immunity to an American
official facing murder charge.

"Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry left
tonight for Pakistan where he will meet with senior Pakistan
government officials to reaffirm support for the strategic
relationship between the two countries," his spokesman,
Frederick Jones, said.

Kerry, who heads the powerful Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, is considered to be a close foreign policy aid of
US President Barack Obama.

Kerry`s trip comes at a time when the relationship is
strained by the detention of a US government official, Raymond
Davis, who is suspected of killing two Pakistani men in
self-defence during an alleged robbery attempt late last month
in Lahore.
Kerry has travelled to Pakistan four in the last two
years to resolve problems between the two countries.
He was the first high ranking US leader to visit
Pakistan after the devastating floods last year.

The US insists that Davis must be released as he has
diplomatic immunity, which Islamabad has refused to accept.
Over the weekend, the United States had postponed the
trilateral meeting involving Afghanistan and Pakistan scheduled for later this month.
Kerry is the author of the Congressional legislation
that gives USD 1.5 billion to Pakistan for five years.

"Kerry-Lugar-Berman was designed to signal our
long-term state engagement with the people of Pakistan," Jones
said was quoted as saying by the ABC news.

PTI