Washington, June 28 : U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates interpreted Pakistan's decision to empower its army to deal with militants in the North West Frontier Province as a declaration of its intention to reassert its control and authority as well as an opportunity for the United States to defeat terrorism in the region.
Gates is the third senior U.S. official to welcome Pakistan's new strategy for the FATA, announced in Islamabad earlier this week.
Earlier, Richard Boucher, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian and Central Asia Affairs and General David Petraeus, U.S. Army Central Command had endorsed the FATA plan.
In a meeting between Pakistan's security and political leaders in Islamabad, it was agreed to counter extremism by engaging FATA tribes into a political process, developing the region's economy and the selective use of military force to combat militants.
The Dawn quoted Gates as saying that the Pentagon had no plan to send troops to Pakistan and that Washington would enhance NATO's military presence on the Afghan side of the border to militarily defeat terrorism in the FATA.