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US says more confidence in Pakistan than earlier

world Updated: Nov 17, 2009 08:37 IST
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Appreciating the steps being taken by Pakistan in recent months against the extremist elements, the United States has said that it has more confidence in Pakistan than it had a few months ago.

"We certainly have more confidence now than we did even a few months ago, before they did take some decisive action to deal with this problem within their own borders," the State Department spokesman, Ian Kelly, told reporters at his daily news conference on Monday.

"We have seen in recent months a real commitment on the part of the Pakistani authorities to really try and tackle the problem of violent extremists within their borders, particularly in these border areas, and you've seen them take concrete steps to address these challenges," Kelly said in reference to the strong military action being under taken by the Pak Army in the tribal regions of the country.

At the same time, the spokesman said the US recognises that this is a problem that can't be handled just by military means.

"We also need to deal with some of the underlying problems that give rise to this kind of extremism, and provide the people of Pakistan and the people of Afghanistan a hope for a better future, that their future lies not with extremists, but with a better and more prosperous future for their families," he said.

"The important thing here is that we see this as a partnership that these are shared challenges, these are problems that are in our national interests as well to tackle, and that's why we see our role as supporting them.

This is their effort, but we stand ready to support them, both on the military side, but also on the civilian side on reconstruction and economic assistance," Kelly said.