US, Pakistan: We'll Work Together to Uproot Terrorists
John Kerry's visit leads to joint pledge
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2011 7:43 AM CDT
Updated May 16, 2011 11:08 AM CDT
U.S. Senator John Kerry, left, shakes hands with Yusuf Raza Gilani prior to their talks at Prime Minister house in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Monday, May 16, 2011.   (AP Photo/B.K.Bangash)
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(Newser) – The US and Pakistan have agreed to work together in the future against "high value targets" in Pakistan, the countries announced in a joint statement today. The news comes after Sen. John Kerry arrived in Pakistan last night, intending to send a strong message following the death of Osama bin Laden: Cooperate more when it comes to rooting out terrorists, or face "profound" changes in the US-Pakistan relationship—which could include kissing billions in aid goodbye. Kerry is the most senior US official to go to Pakistan since bin Laden's death, but since issuing the joint pledge, he said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will soon announce her own plans to visit, the AP reports.

Kerry's meetings with Pakistani leaders began last night, the Washington Post reports. Many in Washington think Pakistan is harboring Islamist militants, and some members of Congress are calling for the US to sever the billions of dollars in aid it provides to Pakistan. Kerry is in Pakistan to lay out the new stakes following bin Laden's death, and question officials about how bin Laden was able to hide in Pakistan for years. In Kabul, Kerry said there is "some evidence" that the Pakistan government has knowledge of insurgent activities, calling it "very disturbing."