Gates reassures Pak of continuous US support in war against Taliban

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Washington, Feb.10 (ANI): Describing the Pakistan Army's offensive against the Taliban and other extremist groups as "terrific", US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has assured Islamabad that Washington would keep supporting the troubled nation in future also.

In an interview with FOX News, Gates, while acknowledging Pakistan's anti-terrorism efforts, said it is in 'drivers seat' in combating the Taliban on its soil.

"You know, we're in this car together, but we recognise on your side of the border, you're in the driver's seat and you've got your foot on the accelerator," Gates said.

"We just have to have a long-term approach to Pakistan that reassures them that we are a long-time, reliable ally for Pakistan, we're going to be there with them and for them going into the future. And in every aspect - politically, economically, and so on," he added.

Responding to a question regarding the threat to Pakistan's nuclear arsenals, Gates said the Obama administration is 'comfortable' with the current security measures taken by Pakistan to safe guard its nuclear assets.

"I would just echo what the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said. We're comfortable with the security," he said.

Referrring to recent volley of suicide attacks across Pakistan, Gates said the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban were working together to destabilise Pakistan through these terror attacks, which has killed scores of innocent civilians.

"Al Qaeda is helping the Pakistani Taliban to destabilise the Pakistani government. There is evidence that Al Qaeda is helping them plan these attacks, the targeting, the training capabilities and so on," he said. (ANI)

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