Washington: The United States says Pakistan started to take more direct action against terrorist safe havens in its territory after extremists tried to move on to its capital, but “unquestionably” it needs to do more.
"If you look at the progress that we have made with Pakistan on safe havens, on confronting terrorists, I think that is a record that they and we can be proud of," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters on Tuesday.
"Does more have to be done? Unquestionable," he said when asked if President Barack Obama now believes that the Pakistani military, intelligence and civilian government will support the US from now on.
"We have tough work ahead in Pakistan and in Afghanistan. And together with our partners, we'll make progress," Gibbs said refuting a reported suggestion by Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari that the Afghanistan war is lost.
"I don't think the President (Obama) would agree with President Zardari's conclusion that the war is lost," he said referring to Zardari's reported remarks to French newspaper Le Monde.
Zardari was quoted as telling Le Monde that "the international community to which Pakistan belongs is losing the war against the Taliban. Above all, it is because we've lost the battle for hearts and minds."
"I don't know why he's come to that conclusion," Gibbs said. "But I think it is safe to say that the actions and the efforts that the coalition, international forces and American forces, have taken over the last several months have very much the hearts and minds of the Afghan people at the forefront.
"The Afghan people know of the brutality of the Taliban, just as the Pakistani people, on the actions that their extremist counterparts were taking in Pakistan last year to move on the capital of Pakistan is why the country of Pakistan started to take more direct action against safe havens," he said.
"So I think that the hearts and minds of those in Afghanistan and Pakistan are obviously a key part of our strategy, as well as what is in the hearts and the minds of the extremists that seek to do Afghans or Pakistanis harm, Gibbs said.