Pakistan has welcomed the nomination of Senator John Kerry as US secretary of state, with its top diplomat in Washington calling the seasoned lawmaker a “steadfast” friend of the country. “We welcome news of the nomination of Senator Kerry as the next US secretary of state. Senator Kerry is a man of towering stature and accomplishments, having served the US with great vigor and distinction,” Islamabad’s ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman said. Ambassador Rehman, who has been engaged in an extensive diplomatic outreach on the Capitol Hill towards improvement of Pak-US ties, said Senator Kerry had demonstrated through the years an extraordinary understanding of the complexities of South and Central Asia. “He has been a steadfast friend of Pakistan and is keenly aware of the strategic importance of a democratic, economically viable and stable Pakistan,” the ambassador noted. “We look forward to his confirmation and to working with a statesman of such a high moral standing and diplomatic caliber, to strengthen Pak-US relations, and to build peace and stability in South Asia,” she said, in a statement released by the Pakistani embassy.