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No excuses for inaction against terror: US tells Pak

world Updated: Oct 08, 2010 11:54 IST

Asking Pakistan to do more against extremist elements, the US has said the "status quo" in the country's restive tribal areas is unacceptable and that there cannot be "excuses" for not taking action against militants at the Af-Pak border.

White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs said the US acknowledges that the situation in the Taliban-infested region is difficult and complex but insisted that status quo is not acceptable.

"... the status quo being where we are now also isn't acceptable, which you saw in some of the reporting that went to Capitol Hill in the last few days," Gibbs said referring to the White House report sent to the Congress this week that was highly critical of Pakistan's inaction against terrorism in the region.

Amidst reports of increased tensions between the US and Pakistan over a cross-border NATO air strike that killed two Pakistani soldiers, Washington has apologised to Islamabad for the incident.

"You saw (US Ambassador to Pakistan) Ambassador (Anne) Patterson's comments yesterday in apologising for the death of Pakistani soldiers near the border.

"That, at the same time, though, does not make excuses for not addressing the situation with militants at the border or with insurgents that come from Pakistan to Afghanistan," Gibbs said.

He said the US administration was "heartened" by Pakistan government's actions that have helped put al Qaeda in a tight spot, under the kind of pressure "it (al qaeda) has never faced before" but the fight is to be taken to "more insurgents".

"We'll continue to work on that relationship in order to improve it but also to improve the effort to take the fight to more insurgents," said the White House spokesman.

"I think it is a difficult and complex situation. And we see improvements in some aspects over the past 20 months. We also understand that there are more improvements that have to be undertaken," he added.

He said the US' relationship with Pakistan was important for security reasons and Washington has put a lot of emphasis on the bilateral relationship.

Later this month, Pakistani officials will travel for to the US to continue the strategic dialogue started at the beginning of the Obama administration.

Gibbs said the two sides would discuss what is in their mutual interest, particularly fighting insurgents and extremists that not only threaten Pakistan and Afghanistan, but also the security of American homeland.