WASHINGTON: US Senator John Kerry said on Thursday that religious intolerance is an insult to everybody and condemned senseless intolerance exhibited in the anti-Islam video following a meeting.
Senator Kerry made the remarks following an hour-long meeting with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Ambassador Sherry Rehman on Capitol Hill. 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 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 that the US was founded on the principles of tolerance that everyone needs to work towards. Senator Kerry added that 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 Abbottabad was to be released soon.
In her remarks, Foreign Minister Khar thanked Senator Kerry for his statement on intolerance.
On the subject of US-Pakistan relations, Khar said that a peaceful, stable Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s core interests.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2012.