Very active effort on to seek political settlement in Afghan: US



Washington: A "very active" effort is now on to reach an appropriate political settlement in Afghanistan incorporating renunciation of al Qaeda and recognition of Constitutional rights of both the war-torn country and neighbouring Pakistan, top US Senator John Kerry has said.

"I can report without being specific that there are efforts underway; they are serious," Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the popular NPR radio.

Kerry, who has just returned from a trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said there are "very active" efforts now to seek an appropriate kind of political settlement.

"When I say appropriate, there has to be a renunciation of al Qaeda; there has to be a, you know, a reduction of violence; and there has to be a recognition of the Constitutional rights of both Pakistan and Afghanistan; and greater efforts to reduce the sanctuary support for insurgency," Kerry, a close aide of President Barack Obama, said.

The Senator, who was the first top level US leader to visit Pakistan in the aftermath of the devastating floods, said the current situation could have its own political implications.

"It's potentially that, because you have enormous disruption among the population with some ability for people to try to exploit that," he said in response to a question.

Pakistan has taken "enormous" steps forward in the last year to try to deal with insurgency, economic problems and democratic governance issues, Kerry said. "And they've done a lot to change what has been happening."

"Have they made it perfect? No. Nobody has, but there have been improvements. And I think that it would be a tragedy upon a tragedy for us to lose a lot of that progress because of what's happened here.

"I think the international community can do a lot, is doing a lot, and hopefully in the next days, these issues will be appropriately addressed," Kerry said.

PTI