Obama picks John Kerry as secretary of state | Pakistan Today

Obama picks John Kerry as secretary of state

President Barack Obama has picked seasoned senator John Kerry – a known diplomatic troubleshooter in Washington’s international relations and proponent of broad-based ties with Pakistan and – as his next secretary of state. Kerry will advance the American foreign policy at an important time for the South Asian region as the US draws down its troops from Afghanistan to meet the 2014 deadline. According to experts, Pakistan, which has high-stakes in future of the post-2014 Afghanistan, will welcome Obama’s choice since Kerry has already developed relations with both political and military leadership of the country. In a highly charged Capitol Hill environment during America’s Afghan war, Kerry has often balanced his views on some of the contentious issues with his knowledge of the ground realities. He is also co-architect of a multi-year $7.5 billion multi-year economic assistance measure for Pakistan, known as Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act. The senator aided the Obama Administration in the toughest phase of US-Pakistan relations last year, when he travelled to Islamabad to mend frayed ties on two occasions, including after the CIA contractor’s killing of two Pakistanis in Lahore and the May 1, 2011 American unilateral raid on Abbottabad that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden but seriously undermining the key relationship. As adept problem fixer, Kerry also persuaded Afghan President Hamid Karzai to agree to an election runoff in 2009. The Massachusetts lawmaker, who ran against George W Bush for the top White House job in 2004, is expected to win wide support of both Republicans and Democrats when his nomination is sent to the Senate for confirmation.

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