WASHINGTON: As opposed to previous reports of US senator John Kerry’s visit to Pakistan on US President Obama’s directive, the senator’s spokesperson Jodi Seth has claimed that no such visit has been scheduled, nor has the US president issued any such request.
In response to the story published in The Express Tribune “NATO airstrike: Kerry to visit Pakistan with ‘formal apology’”, Seth issued a statement saying that the US senator was not planning to travel to Pakistan.
Additionally, White House National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden told The Express Tribune, “I refer you to Senator Kerry’s office for information about his travel plans.”
“Despite press reports, he has not been asked by President Obama to travel to Pakistan or deliver any particular message from the administration.”
Earlier, it was reported that US President Barack Obama was sending his key trouble-shooter to Pakistan later this month amidst efforts to reset ties in light of the new foreign policy guidelines recently approved by parliament.
Former presidential hopeful and chairman of the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee Senator John Kerry were expected to travel to Islamabad on April 29 to meet the country’s top civil and military leadership, an official had told The Express Tribune.
One official said that the influential US senator would likely offer a formal public apology on behalf of the Obama Administration over the Nato airstrikes on a Pakistani check post in November last year.
The formal public apology over the attacks that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers is one of the key preconditions set by parliament for the normalisation of ties including resumption of vital land routes for the Nato forces stationed in Afghanistan.