Kerry a steadfast friend of Pak: Sherry Rehman



Washington: Welcoming the nomination of John Kerry as the next Secretary of State, Islamabad's top diplomat in Washington has said the Massachusetts Senator has been a steadfast friend of Pakistan.

Kerry, 69, on Friday was nominated by US President Barack Obama to succeed Hillary Clinton as his next secretary of state.

"He (Kerry) has been a steadfast friend of Pakistan and is keenly aware of the strategic importance of a democratic, economically viable and stable Pakistan," Pakistan's ambassador to US Sherry Rehman said in a statement.

"Senator Kerry has demonstrated through the years an extraordinary understanding of the complexities of South and Central Asia," Rehman said.

Kerry, with decades of foreign policy experience, was the architect of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill, through which the Obama Administration committed USD 7.5 billion to Pakistan in five years.

The Obama Administration relied heavily in Kerry whenever US-Pak relationship dipped low.

In fact, Obama dispatched Kerry to Pakistan several times in the last four years to resolve outstanding disputes, including in the immediate aftermath of the killing of Osama bin laden, the al Qaeda leader.

Kerry enjoys personal relationship with top Pakistani leadership.

"We welcome news of the nomination of Senator John F Kerry as the next US Secretary of State. Senator Kerry is a man of towering stature and accomplishments, having served the United States with great vigor and distinction," Rehman said.

"We look forward to his confirmation and to working with a statesman of his high moral standing and outstanding diplomatic caliber, to strengthen Pakistan-US relations, and to build peace and stability in South Asia," the ambassador said.

PTI