Pak has 'very serious problem' of extremism: US

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Washington, Oct 30: Washington on Wednesday, Oct 29 evening said that it was ready to discuss Pakistan's 'very serious problem' of extremism anytime when the authorities in Islamabad wished to. This comment came after Pakistan summoned US envoy Anne Patterson to lodge strong protest over continued air strikes in its tribal areas.

The News reported that US vowed 'no let-up' in counter-terrorism efforts in Pakistan. According to the paper, declining to comment specifically on US strikes inside Pakistan's territory, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said, "We are committed to working with Pakistan to beat back what is a common enemy in the terrorists.""Our ambassador will certainly go in and see the Pakistanis anytime they want to see her about these issues," she added.

The spokeswoman further said that US President George Bush believes that Pakistan has 'a very serious problem' of extremism and that authorities there 'recognize how serious that problem is'. Underlining that Pakistan had "very serious issues when it comes to their economy as well", she said: "We remain very concerned but we remain willing to work with them," she said."

Perino spurned any suggestion that US strikes were fueling resentment against the US and stoking extremism. "Terrorism is something that needs to be confronted. The Pakistanis themselves, the innocent Pakistanis, they also deserve to be protected from terrorists and so we'll continue to work with them," she said.

Earlier, the Pakistan foreign ministry said that it had summoned Patterson to register 'a strong protest' over a number of missile attacks by US drones inside its territory.


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