Kerry to spend ‘appropriate’ time in Pakistan: US

Jun 28, 2013

WASHINGTON, June 26: The United States said on Wednesday that Secretary of State John Kerry will spend “appropriate time” in Islamabad for talks with the Pakistani leaders when he visits the country.

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At a briefing at the State Department, spokesman Patrick Ventrell rejected a suggestion that the secretary had cancelled his plan to visit Pakistan because of differences over continued US drone strikes in Fata.

In the same briefing, the US official refused to comment on the Sharif government’s decision to try former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, saying that the government of Pakistan should be approached for comments on such issues.

Mr Ventrell said that Secretary Kerry was unable to visit Pakistan during his current visit to the region, which also took him to India, because he wanted to visit Islamabad separately. “He very much wants to go and looks forward to the visit,” the US official said.

He said that while the State Department had not yet announced a date for Secretary Kerry’s visit to Islamabad, “he looks forward to having appropriate time to spend there.”

Responding to a question about Pakistan’s protest against continued US drone strikes in Fata, the official said the United States had held discussions with Pakistan on a broad range of issues and would continue to have these conversations, including on the drone strikes.

dawn.com