WASHINGTON: US Senator John Kerry says that religious intolerance is an insult to everybody as he condemned the senseless intolerance exhibited in the anti-Islam video.
Senator Kerry made these remarks to the media after an hour-long meeting with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Ambassador Sherry Rehman at Capitol Hill. Senator Lugar, Senator Bob Casey, and other members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee also attended the meeting.
“All of us in the US, all of us condemn this senseless intolerance exhibited by the video which very few Americans saw and have seen. We feel it is without any legitimacy, any potential redeeming quality. It is an insult to everybody,” said Senator Kerry. He added that no religion deserves disrespect, and the US was founded on the principles of tolerance, that everyone needs to work towards.
Sentor Kerry also pointed that as bad the video was, there was no room for violent reactions to the film. “There is no room for taking of lives as a consequence of that. Certainly room to protest and to make voices heard but not at expense of human lives.”
In response to a question, Senator Kerry said he had raised the matter of Dr Shakil Afridi and the US’ concerns on the matter in the meeting. He added that he had been told that a report on Osama Bin Laden’s presence in Abbotabad was to be released soon.
But, he added that walking away from Pakistan was not an option either, and added that they renew their mutual desire to work together.
In her remarks, Foreign Minister Khar thanked Senator Kerry for his statements on intolerance. “Islam is a religion of peace, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was a messenger of peace,” said the minister.
On the subject of US-Pakistan relations, Khar said that as they moved into the future, the next few months would be crucial. She said that a peaceful, stable Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s core interests.
She also appreciated the US assistance to Pakistan and the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill.