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'Engagement, co-operation with Pak top priority for Obama Admin'

world Updated: May 08, 2010 10:25 IST

Stressing that engagement and co-operation with Pakistan, especially in dealing with Al-Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban, have been the top priority for Obama Administration, the White House on Saturday said the two nations have made great progress.

"We have made engagement and co-operation with the Pakistani government a priority since coming to office. We have worked with them and have been supportive of the first efforts that they have made to directly combat some of the threats that they have - Al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters.

He said that the US was working with the Pakistani delegation to make progress in dealing with Al-Qaeda and its extremist allies in the region. "We have made great progress in that. There is no doubt about that."

Meanwhile, US State Department said that in the Times Square bomb case, the flow of investigation to Pakistan has begun.

"With that flow would come specific steps that we would expect Pakistan to take," Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P J Crowley told reporters at his daily press briefing.

The FBI arrested, Pakistani-American, 30-year-old Faisal Shahzad, on charges of trying to plot a bomb at the Times Square last Saturday.

Shahzad had told federal investigating authorities that he received training on bomb making in Waziristan.

Pakistan had also arrested several of his close relatives and friends in this regard.

According to some reports in US media, investigations so far has shown his links going back to Pakistan-based terrorist organisations.

"We have had a range of contacts with Government of Pakistan, both at post and here in the US. We continue to develop information here as the investigation continues," Crowley said.

The State Department official said there have been multiple terror plots that have involved the US and Pakistan, citizens on both sides who have chosen to take these actions.

"I am not aware that there's any specific connection, but clearly, we are looking to see, while this individual was in Pakistan, who he met with, what support, if any, was provided," Crowley said.

The US had developed information about Shahzad's link in Pakistan."We are sharing the information that we can with Pakistan. They are already also taking their own actions," he said.

Noting that the US was in regular touch with India, including on counter-terrorism issues, Crowley said he can't say, at this point, "there's an Indian link to this case, but we do have dialogue with India on a regular basis on terrorism issues."