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US asks Pak to act tough against extremists

The US today said it wants to work with Pakistan in fight against terrorism, but insisted Islamabad in a "clear message" has been asked to act against the extremist groups such as Haqqani network that operate from its soil.

world Updated: Sep 27, 2011 08:14 IST

The US on Tuesday said it wants to work with Pakistan in fight against terrorism, but insisted Islamabad in a "clear message" has been asked to act against the extremist groups such as Haqqani network that operate from its soil.

"The clear message that is being conveyed over the last week that we hope the Government of Pakistan would take steps against the militants located on the Pakistani side of the border, who carry out attacks against American and Afghan forces inside Afghanistan," Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters.

Insisting that the lines of communication remain open with Pakistan, Little said the relationship is complicated but an essential one.

There is a need to find out ways to work together especially when it comes to terrorism as both countries have common interest in fighting terrorists. Both Americans and Pakistanis have been victims of terrorist attacks, he said.

"The Secretary of Defence was clear on Thursday in testimony (before a Congressional committee) that in terms of options that might be looked at to pursue militants, we are not going to discuss what options may or may not be," Little said.

Responding to questions about the recent series of high visibility attack, he said by doing so the terrorist outfits were trying to "create a perception" which was far away from reality.

"The bottom line is, it is this fighting season for the Taliban and insurgents in Afghanistan has been less effective. They are resorting to new tactics that resemble what we have seen in last several weeks and they have been able to...large scale offences," Little said.

"The insurgents are not as effective and they are doing this as a way to create the perception that they are having more success than that is actually happening," Little claimed.

The Pentagon spokesman said he is not aware of any "large scale" change in security cooperation between the US and Pakistan over the last week.

"No one should say, as I said last week that there is some kind of breach with the Government of Pakistan. We want to work together. We want to cooperate. Cooperation is very important for both countries," he said.

"There are disagreements and we discuss those very candidly with the Pakistanis. We hope to make progress in that front and will see how the relationship progresses," Little said.

One should not be surprised if the particulars of relationship changes over time, he added.

"The key message that is being conveyed is that the Pakistanis need to do more against the Haqqani network. Beyond that I will not go into any specifics," he said.