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Top U.S. Lawmaker Says Pakistan Agrees To New Efforts Toward Regional Security

  • Richard Solash

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (right) shakes hands with U.S. Senator John Kerry during a May 16 meeting in Islamabad

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (right) shakes hands with U.S. Senator John Kerry during a May 16 meeting in Islamabad

WASHINGTON -- A senior U.S. lawmaker says Pakistan has agreed to undertake "specific efforts" to battle extremism and promote regional security.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (Democrat-Massachusetts) made the announcement at a hearing in Washington in the wake of his visit to Islamabad, which saw him meeting with top Pakistani officials, including President Asif Ali Zardari.

Kerry's trip was the first contact between senior Pakistani and U.S. government officials since the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a U.S. raid in Pakistan on May 2.

"I will tell you, everything was on the table with as much precision and as much depth as I've ever had it [during the meetings in Pakistan]," Kerry said. "[The Pakistanis] did agree, and there is agreement, with respect to some very specific efforts."


Kerry said the details of the agreements could not be discussed in public, but said they had the potential to "shift the dynamics" of the relationships between Pakistan, the United States, and Afghanistan.


He said the agreements, which would also involve new commitments by the United States, would be considered by the White House in the coming days and likely be taken up by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during an anticipated visit to Islamabad.


Kerry also said the U.S.-Pakistani relationship would "only be measured by actions" and called on Islamabad to return parts of a high-tech U.S. aircraft that crashed in the bin Laden raid.

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