US ‘very concerned’ about Pakistan

The United States said Wednesday it was ready to discuss Pakistan‘s “very serious problem” with extremism anytime authorities there wish to, but vowed no let-up in counter-terrorism efforts.

Declining to comment specifically on suspected US strikes along the border with Afghanistan, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said “We are committed to working with Pakistan to beat back what is a common enemy in the terrorists.”

From: AFP

Soldiers of Pakistan's army walk past damaged houses in ...

Soldiers of Pakistan’s army walk past damaged houses in Loisam town in the Bajur tribal region on October 25, 2008. The United States said Wednesday it was ready to discuss Pakistan’s “very serious problem” with extremism anytime authorities there wish to, but vowed no let-up in counter-terrorism efforts.(AFP/Pool/File/Emilio Morenatti)

Pakistan’s foreign ministry said earlier it had summoned the US ambassador to Islamabad, Anne Patterson, to register “a strong protest” over a number of missile attacks by US drones inside its territory.

“Our ambassador will certainly go in and see the Pakistanis anytime they want to see her about these issues,” said Perino.

US President George W. Bush believes that “Pakistan has a very serious problem” with extremism and that authorities there “recognize how serious that problem is,” said the spokeswoman.

“We remain very concerned but we remain willing to work with them,” she said, underlining that Pakistan had “very serious issues when it comes to their economy as well.”

But Perino spurned any suggestion that US strikes were fueling resentment against the United States and stoking extremism, denying “that we incited that, that it was our fault that terrorists attack.

“Terrorism is something that needs to be confronted,” she said. “The Pakistanis themselves, the innocent Pakistanis, they also deserve to be protected from terrorists and so we’ll continue to work with them.”

At the US State Department, spokesman Sean McCormack acknowledged “bumps in the road and disagreements” in US-Pakistan cooperation on counter-terrorism efforts but flatly refused to comment on the latest dispute.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081029/pl_afp/pakistan
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