A visiting senior United States senator warned Pakistanis on Monday that members of Congress were asking "tough questions" about economic aid to Islamabad after Osama bin Laden was killed on Pakistani soil.
Senator John Kerry told a news conference he had not come to Islamabad to apologize for the May 2 secret U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden and infuriated the Pakistani military.
But the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a Democrat close to President Barack Obama, said U.S.-Pakistani ties were too important to be unraveled by the incident.
In a veiled warning to the Pakistani security establishment, made up of the powerful military and the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, he said: "The road ahead will not be defined by words. It will be defined by actions."
"I emphasized to our Pakistani friends -- and they are friends -- that many in Congress are raising tough questions about our ongoing economic assistance to the government of Pakistan because of the events as they unfolded, and because of the presence of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan," he said.
Washington's fragile ties with ally Islamabad took a beating after U.S. special forces flew in from Afghanistan on a secret operation and killed bin Laden on May 2, nearly 10 years after he orchestrated the September 11 attacks on the United States.