- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
Pakistan president tells U.S. envoy ties must stay strong
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan and the United States cannot afford any downturn in their relationship, President Asif Ali Zardari told the new U.S. envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan on Monday amid a dispute over a detained American CIA contractor.
The contractor, Raymond Allen Davis, shot dead two Pakistanis on Jan. 27. The United States says he has diplomatic immunity and acted in self-defense against robbers in the eastern city of Lahore. Pakistan has resisted releasing him, saying the matter will be decided by the courts.
Envoy Marc Grossman was appointed to the post in February after the death of Richard Holbrooke, who led a broad policy review that led to changes in priorities in dealing with insurgencies in the two countries and hopes for improved cooperation. It is Mr. Grossman’s first trip to the region.
A statement from Mr. Zardari’s office did not mention the Davis case but said Mr. Zardari told Mr. Grossman both nations had to remain focussed on long-term strategic ties and not be swayed by “misperceptions and some isolated incidents.”
“The President said that the weakening of relations was not an option for the two countries,” the statement said. “We have to find ways and means to find acceptable solutions to all problems.”
The United States has a close but often uneasy alliance with Pakistan. Over the past 10 years it is given the nuclear-armed nation billions to fight al Qaeda and the Taliban close to the Afghan border, but many in Washington remain unconvinced the country is committed to the fight.
The Davis case has triggered a wave of anti-American sentiment in Pakistan, and Pakistan‘s weak government could be destabilized if it releases him, as the United States is demanding. Allowing him to be put on trial for murder would anger the United States, which Pakistan relies on for economic as well as military aid.
Mr. Grossman previously served as the State Department’s third-ranking diplomat under President George W. Bush and was an ambassador to Turkey. He retired from the foreign service in 2005, later working for the Cohen Group, a consulting firm run by former Defense Secretary William Cohen.
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again