US President Barack Obama has said that the cancer of violent extremism has taken roots in the border region of Pakistan and argued the need for the US and its allies to successfully treat it.
"We are in Afghanistan to prevent a cancer from once again spreading through that country. But this same cancer has also taken root in the border region of Pakistan. That is why we need a strategy that works on both sides of the border," Obama said at the West Point Military Academy in New York.
"In the past, there have been those in Pakistan who have argued that the struggle against extremism is not their fight, and that Pakistan is better off doing little or seeking accommodation with those who use violence," he said.
But in recent years, as innocents have been killed from Karachi to Islamabad, it has become clear that it is the Pakistani people who are the most endangered by extremism. "Public opinion has turned."
"The Pakistani Army has waged an offensive in Swat and South Waziristan. And there is no doubt that the United States and Pakistan share a common enemy," he argued.
Obama said the US was committed to a partnership with Pakistan that is built on a foundation of mutual interests, mutual respect, and mutual trust.