KABUL – Pakistan could be a better partner in the fight against terrorists, U.S. Sen. John Kerry said Saturday on the first leg of a visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan to patch up relations following the U.S. killing of Osama bin Laden.
Kerry, chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the United States wants Pakistan to be a real ally in combating terrorism.
"We believe there are things that can be done better," he said in a visit to Mazar-i-Sharif.
Kerry's trip to Afghanistan and later Pakistan comes as the relationship between Washington and Islamabad is frayed over the U.S. unilateral raid on Pakistani soil that killed bin Laden.
Speaking to reporters, Kerry was asked if the United States would be putting more pressure on Pakistan because bin Laden was tracked down there, and whether the U.S. would go after the Taliban's leader, Mullah Omar, who could be hiding in Pakistan as well.
Kerry said only: "It's a legitimate question and it's certainly a question that's on the minds of every American and lots of other people in the world."
Kerry also said that President Barack Obama and the American people were committed to working with Afghans who have a long history of fighting for their own independence. His visit comes just two months before Afghan security forces are to begin to take the lead for securing Mazar-i-Sharif and a handful of other areas of the nation.
"We're committed to working with you to say no to terrorism, no to violence and yes to economic possibilities," he said. (AP)