Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has won praise from the White House for his "courage and determination" in going after the Taliban and Al-Qaeda despite "political perils".
Denying that US President George W Bush had lectured Musharraf on the need to do more to fight terrorism during his recent visit to Washington, White House spokesperson Tony Snow said: "No, the president doesn't engage in lectures. They had a conversation."
Asked if Bush was satisfied with what Musharraf had done, he said the Pakistan Army helicopter attack on an Al Qaeda-linked religious school, which evoked anti-US and anti-Musharraf protests from Pakistani tribesmen, was intended to go after Al-Qaeda recruits.
At least 80 people were killed on Tuesday when Pakistan forces attacked a madrassa in Bajaur Agency in northwest Pakistan.
"And the Pakistani government did it on the basis of intelligence that it had gathered, and we support them in this," Snow said.
"The other thing you got to understand is that the tactics of the Taliban or Al-Qaeda or people on both sides of that border who are trying to commit acts of terror are to do everything they can to create carnage and kill civilians.
We know that. We've seen that in the last couple of weeks in Afghanistan as well."
"We understand it. It makes it tough. And President Musharraf is showing determination in a situation that certainly has its political perils, and it requires courage and determination on his part," Snow added.