US expects more from Pak to fight terror groups: Kerry
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 15:08
Washington: Just back from a trip to Pakistan, US Senator John Kerry says the Obama administration expected more from that country to root out terrorist groups holed up there, observing a "fullness of measure of effort" is now required.

The comments by Kerry, who had several rounds of discussions with Pakistan's top leadership, came even as another top Senator Richard Lugar asserted that Pakistan is playing a "double game" and warned that going after some terrorists while "coddling others" may force the Obama administration to cut off aid to Islamabad.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meanwhile said the Obama Administration is working very hard to have an understanding with Pakistani leadership on the best way forward in counter-terrorism operations and bilateral relationship after killing of Osama bin Laden on May 1.

Kerry told members of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee of which he is the Chairman, "Should we expect more (from Pakistan)? Absolutely. Is it tolerable that some of these entities (terrorist groups) are sitting there on the ground and there isn't a fullness of measure of effort (by Pakistan) against them? No, it's not."

Kerry was briefing the Committee members in less than a few hours he landed in Washington, from a long flight from Islamabad.

"That's exactly the conversation that we're engaged in now," Kerry said, but was quick to point out that most of the discussion he had with the Pakistani leadership during the weekend's trip to Islamabad needs to be discussed in a classified session.

"I expect the (Obama) administration in the next days to be pressing the details of that, building on what we've created as an outline in the last few days, and I think we can get somewhere," he said.

Kerry also said this is no longer a time for issuign of joint statements.

"Now, the proof is in the pudding. I made it very, very clear. This is no longer a time for joint statements issued, everybody goes about their way and there are four more weeks of delay.

And, you know, we can't afford that. But they can't afford it either. And I think that's the understanding everybody's arrived at," Kerry said.

The Senator, who is considered to be close to US President Barack Obama said that US would be able to protect its interest even if there is no cooperation from Pakistan and the access to Afghanistan is blocked by Islamabad.

But that option would be expensive and put to risk lives of more Americans.

Kerry said while bin Laden's death opened a door in Afghanistan, it has complicated US relationship with Pakistan.


First Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 15:08

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