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Pak can cooperate better: Kerry

Pakistan can do more to co-operate with the US in the war against terrorism, a top American Senator has said.

world Updated: Apr 13, 2011 11:29 IST

Pakistan can do more to co-operate with the US in the war against terrorism, a top American Senator has said.

"I think the (Pakistan) government can do more to cooperate with us and to help to de-charge the atmosphere on this," Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters while replying to a query on a Pakistani demand to reduce CIA presence inside the country.

"I mean, it is accurate that there has been a reduction in some of our effort in Pakistan... If you've got a bunch of operatives who are running around your country; if it were happening here in the US and somebody was shot dead in the centre of Washington by one of those operatives, there'd be hue and cry in our country too," he said in an apparent reference to the CIA officer Raymond Davis controversy.

Kerry, who had travelled to Pakistan at the height of the controversy, said: "They're insisting on knowing who's there and doing what. I think we can work through these kinds of challenges. They're politics has been made particularly complicated and difficult by what happened over there."

Referring to the Monday’s meeting between the spy chiefs of Pakistan and the US in Washington, he hoped such meetings would be helpful. "Those meetings are going on right now."

The Senator said the Pakistanis have said publicly they face an existential challenge of extremism in their country. "So it is in their interest, ultimately, to fight back. We simply have to work through the modalities of that more effectively. Hopefully, we can keep this on track."

What happens in Pakistan will do more to determine the outcome of what happens in Afghanistan, he said.

"What we're doing on the ground in Afghanistan is important, but in the end, it's that safe area in the western part of Pakistan and the determination of the Pakistanis to help us find a political solution that will be the key to our resolving this conflict," Kerry said.

While, Republican Senator John McCain said: "I believe the Pakistanis are becoming more and more convinced that we will be leaving Afghanistan; therefore, since they will remain in the region, they are covering all their bets."