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Gates praises Pakistan response to Taliban

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday he was "very satisfied" with Pakistan military action against the Taliban and that he was confident the nation's nuclear weapons were secure.

world Updated: May 07, 2009 22:27 IST

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday he was "very satisfied" with Pakistan military action against the Taliban and that he was confident the nation's nuclear weapons were secure.

Pakistan has conducted "significant" operations against the Taliban in the northwest district of Buner, where Gates said he believed the militants had over-estimated their reach.

"I personally have been very satisfied with the strong response that the Pakistani government and army have taken in response to this," he told reporters during a visit to the Afghan capital Kabul.

"I think there is very little chance of the Taliban in Pakistan achieving a level of success that would give them access to Pakistan's nuclear weapons," he added when asked about the safety of the Muslim country's atomic arms.

The defence secretary ruled out any US ground force intervention in Pakistan and said Washington wanted to work in cooperation with Islamabad in its fight against the Taliban.