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Pakistan has not received "sufficient credit" for the intelligence cooperation it provided to the US that eventually helped the American special forces to zero in on al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, says Senator John Kerry, who has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be his next Secretary of State.
"I don't think the Pakistanis have, frankly, gotten credit sufficiently for the fact that they were helpful (in getting Osama bin Laden). It was their permissiveness in allowing our people to be there that helped us to be able to tie the knots that focused on that, not exclusively, obviously, but to some degree," Kerry told Senators at his confirmation hearing.
In the first term of the Obama administration, Kerry helped the US in resolving several key issues with Pakistan and has good relationship with top leadership in Islamabad.
When asked about the continued detention of a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA in tracing bin Laden, Kerry said: "I have talked directly to (Pakistan) President (Asif Ali) Zardari and I've talked directly to (army chief) General (Ashfaq Pervez) Kayani about Dr (Shakil) Afridi.
"And like most Americans, I find it, as you do, incomprehensible if not repugnant that somebody who helped to find Osama bin Laden is in jail in Pakistan."
Arguing in favour of maintaining relationship with Pakistan, Kerry spoke against adopting a "dramatic, draconian, sledgehammer approach" to the ties as "we have our ground line of communications (in Pakistan), which is the military's complicated word for 'roads,' that go to Afghanistan, and that route is critical to our supply of our troops."
"We have in addition to that, had intelligence cooperation. Our folks were able to cooperate on the ground in Pakistan. That's one of the ways we were able to get Osama bin Laden," Kerry said.