- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
U.S., Pakistan to cooperate on ‘high-value targets’
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The U.S. and Pakistan agreed Monday to work together in any future actions against “high value targets” in Pakistan, even as U.S. Sen. John Kerry defended Washington’s decision not to tell Islamabad in advance about the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
The pledge, which was made in a joint statement, could help mollify Pakistani officials and citizens, who were enraged that one of the country’s most important allies would conduct a unilateral operation on its soil. But details of the promised cooperation were unclear.
It was also unclear whether Kerry, the most high-profile American to visit Pakistan since the May 2 raid that killed bin Laden, was able to extract any promises from Pakistan to go after Afghan Taliban militants long believed to be holed up on Pakistani territory.
U.S. officials have increased pressure on Pakistan since bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, an army town only about 35 miles (55 kilometers) outside the capital, Islamabad. But they also seem to be trying to balance their anger, aware of the risk of wholly severing ties with the nuclear-armed country. Pakistan’s cooperation is considered vital to ending the war in Afghanistan.
Shortly after arriving Sunday, Kerry met with Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and gave him a list of “specific demands” relating to American suspicions about Pakistan harboring militants, said a Pakistani official. He spoke on condition of anonymity and declined to give more details because of the sensitivity of the subject.
Kerry said Monday that he and Pakistani leaders have agreed to a “series of steps” to improve relations, but did not specify what they were. He also said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will soon announce plans to visit Pakistan — a sign of confidence in the relationship.
Many in Washington have expressed disbelief that bin Laden was able to live in Abbottabad for at least five years without Pakistan’s powerful security establishment knowing it. But U.S. officials have said they have found no evidence that Pakistan’s leaders knew of his whereabouts.
Kerry’s comments during his visit mixed a tone of defiance with promises to work with Pakistan to rebuild the bilateral relationship.
“My goal in coming here is not to apologize for what I consider to be a triumph against terrorism of unprecedented consequence,” said Kerry. “My goal in coming here has been to talk about how we manage this important relationship.”
Kerry, who chairs the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, met with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday.
Clinton also called Zardari late Sunday and Gilani on Monday, their offices said.
Kerry said he understood why Pakistanis were upset by the raid, but emphasized “the extraordinary circumstances” around the mission.
“When I spoke with the leaders of Pakistan last night and today, I explained that the extreme secrecy surrounding every aspect of the raid in Abbottabad was essential to protecting the lives of the professionals who were involved and ensuring they succeeded in capturing or killing the man responsible for so much death in so many places,” said Kerry.
Kayani, the army chief, told Kerry on Sunday that his soldiers have “intense feelings” about the raid, in apparent reference to anger and humiliation here that Washington did not tell the army in advance about the incursion, and the fact it wasn’t able to stop it.
Kerry said that bin Laden and other foreign fighters who followed him to Pakistan from Afghanistan were the ones “who truly violated Pakistan’s sovereignty.”
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Snow storm sucker punch: U.S. hit by winter wave
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Dick Cheney: Family feud over gay marriage has been 'dealt with'
- Craigslist killers: Police say newlyweds stabbed man for thrills
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!