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'US, Pak have shared understanding of war against terrorism'

world Updated: Feb 03, 2010 07:54 IST

The United States and Pakistan have a shared understanding of their joint responsibilities in the war against terrorism in the region and how to secure that country from such terrorist groups, a top Obama Administration official has said.

"We have very close collaboration with Pakistan on our shared struggle in combating extremism that exists in the tribal areas and through other parts of Pakistan," the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, P J Crowley, told reporters at his daily news briefing.

"We have senior officials who meet with their Pakistani counterparts on a regular basis on the military side and the civilian side," he said in response to a question related to the drone attacks.

Referring to the visit of the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to Pakistan last fall, Crowley said: "I think there is a shared understanding of not only the struggle that we face together, but the appropriate efforts on each side to diminish this threat to Pakistan and to the region and to other countries, including the United States."

Crowley said the Obama Administration talks to Pakistan every day at one level or another, either at the level of ambassador or here in Washington, about this shared responsibility.

The State Department official strongly denied that there is an implied tacit acceptance on Islamabad's part that Washington will do what it judges necessary in dealing with Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda.

"I would challenge (that). First of all, this is not what Washington is doing alone. This is what Washington is doing to help support the Government of Pakistan in its struggle.

I would simply say there is a shared understanding of the steps that need to be taken to ultimately help secure Pakistan and the region," Crowley said.