US senator John Kerry said Tuesday his country was "deeply sorry" over the killing of two Pakistanis by a US official, after arriving in Pakistan to resolve a diplomatic row over the man.
"We are deeply, deeply sorry for that tragic incident," Kerry told a press conference soon after arriving in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore.
"I want to come here to express our deepest regret for those tragic events and to express the sorrow of American people for the loss of life that has taken place," he said.
Kerry, who arrived in Lahore late Tuesday, is the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who helped spearhead a record $7.5 billion aid package for Pakistan, is well respected in the country.
He will also meet government officials to reassure them of long-term US commitment to Pakistan, said a spokeswoman for the US embassy in Islamabad.
"He's coming tonight to speak with government officials about the relationship and reaffirm support for the strategic relationship," said spokeswoman Courtney Beale.
Kerry's visit aims to look for a resolution to the issue and to tone down the pressure on Pakistan's coalition government, one US official said on condition of anonymity.
US says it will certify Davis has diplomatic immunity
The US government on Monday announced that it will certify before a Pakistani court that Raymond Davis, the US consular employee accused of shooting dead two men in Lahore, has diplomatic immunity, according to a BBC report.
US state department spokesman PJ Crowley said, "On Thursday, we will present a petition to the court to certify that he has diplomatic immunity and that he should be released."
He said Pakistan had an "international obligation" to release Davis because he "has diplomatic immunity".
"We respect our international obligations, and we expect other countries, including Pakistan, to do the same," he added.
Petition to summon Qureshi, Wahab in Davis case
Meanwhile, a writ petition was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday demanding that statements of former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and former PPP Information Secretary Fauzia Wahab be included in the Raymond Davis case.
The petition was filed by the judicial activism panel and refers to a public statement issued by Qureshi in which he said that Washington pressured him for the release of Raymond Davis but he had refused to comply on the basis that Davis is not a diplomat.
The petition also requests for the inclusion of Fauzia Wahab's statement at a press conference in which she claimed that Davis is a diplomat and is eligible for diplomatic immunity.
The petition has called on the court to summon both Qureshi and Wahab to record their statements.
It has also appealed to the court to hold Davis responsible for the death of Shumaila, the wife of one of the men shot dead by him.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ