Islamabad: US Senator John Kerry has warned Pakistan that their bilateral relationship, which has reached the “make or break” level, will now be determined by Islamabad’s “actions, not words”.
Senator Kerry, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and a long-time emissary to Pakistan in times of crisis, publicly defended the unilateral raid by US Special Forces that led to the killing of Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden on May 2 in his Abbottabad hideout.
"My goal in coming here is to talk [about] how we manage this important relationship. I am not here to apologise for what I consider a triumph against terrorism," the BBC quoted Senator Kerry, as saying in a televised address during his trip to Pakistan.
The US legislator said that he had held "constructive conversations" with Pakistani leaders, but reiterated "grave concerns" over the presence of bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad.
Senator Kerry, who is the first high-level US envoy to visit Pakistan since the killing of bin Laden, warned that US-Pakistani relations were at a critical point, and pointed out that some members of US Congress were not confident that they could be fixed.
"The make or break is real. There are, as we know, many members of Congress who aren’t confident that it can be patched back together again. And that is why actions but not words are going to be critical to earning their votes," he said.
He said that the two sides had agreed a number of steps to rebuild trust, but did not specify what those steps would be other than Pakistan had agreed to return the remains of a US helicopter that was damaged in the raid.
"We have agreed on a specific series of steps that will be implemented immediately in order to get the relationship on track. That’s actions, not words," said Senator Kerry.
A joint statement issued after the talks said that both nations had agreed to work together in any future actions against "high-value targets" in Pakistan.
Pakistan is a key ally of the US in the war against Islamist extremism, and Washington has sent billions of dollars in aid to Islamabad, the report said, adding that however, critics in Washington have said that recent events mean that this aid should be reviewed.