Terrorist attacks planned in Pakistan: Kerry
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Most of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan were planned across the border into Pakistan, John Kerry, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, said on Saturday, but acknowledged Islamabad's role in the war on terror is crucial.
"Pakistan is under threat of terrorists and faces many problems. The US needs the country's cooperation in the war on terrorism," Kerry, who arrived in Mazar-i-Sharif on Saturday, told reporters after a meeting with Balkh governor, Atta Mohammad Noor.
"The US does not want to severe its relations with Pakistan despite the fact that most of attacks in Afghanistan are launched from there," he said.
He said they wanted Pakistan to be a trustworthy friend in the war against terrorism. He said Pakistan had to respect the sovereignty of Afghanistan.
He said the US would not leave Afghans alone at this crucial phase as President Barak Obama had promised.
"Our country is trying to pave the ground for Afghans to make decisions on their own for their future," he said. He said Afghans were against the war and they disliked fundamentalism. He said he discussed with the governor issues concerning future of Afghanistan.
For his part, Noor said they wanted long-term strategic relations with the US government, an agreement pending approval from the central government and the national assembly.
Noor and Kerry discussed issues concerning security, democracy, terrorism, fight on drug trafficking and good governance. It was Kerry's first visit to northern Balkh province.
He arrived in Kabul on Saturday morning and plans to visit Islamabad, the capital of neighbouring Pakistan.
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