Rawalpindi, July 26 : As embarked on his maiden official visit to the United States on Saturday, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said that his government is determined to fight al Qaeda and the Taliban, as it saw this battle as its own.
"This is our own fight; this is our own cause, because I have lost my own leader because of terrorism. So, my priority number one is to maintain law and order in the country and I want that the writ of the state should not be challenged. It is in our own interest that extremism and terrorism should be contained," Gilani said at the Chaklala Air Force Base before his departure for London and Washington.
"This is my first ever visit to the United States and we are having excellent bilateral relations with the United States. We are co-operating on several fields and several areas," Gilani told reporters.
The United States has been frustrated at what it views as inadequate efforts by Pakistan in the war on terror to do enough to combat militants along its border with Afghanistan.
Washington has broadly support Gilani government's policy of using tribal elders to influence militants to give up violence but has expressed worries that the militants would use breathing space provided by talks to step up attacks on the Western forces in Afghanistan.
In recent weeks, the U.S. officials have shown growing impatience over growing attacks in Afghanistan, raising fears in Pakistan that the U.S. forces might take unilateral action against the militant bases on Pakistani soil.
Pakistan, which itself is facing growing militant violence at home, says it would continue fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban but would not allow foreign forces to take action on its territory.
During his four-day visit, Gilani would also meet U.S. presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain.