ISLAMABAD -  The United States has once again offered Pakistan to “act jointly” against the extremists and terrorists in Pakistan citing the “rising” religious groups, The Nation has learnt.

Senior officials at the foreign ministry said the US had shown concern over Pakistan’s “failure” to check the extremists’ advances as the government struggled to contain a sit-in in Islamabad by a religious group.

“They [the US] were furious over [Jamaatud Dawa chief] Hafiz Mohammed Saeed’s release. The rise of religious groups like Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah has infuriated them further. They want us to discourage them before they take over the country,” one official told The Nation citing contacts with Washington.

Over the weekend, the White House warned that the Pak-US ties could be affected, if Islamabad did not re-arrest and prosecute Hafiz Saeed.

A White House statement said: “Pakistani government now has an opportunity to demonstrate its seriousness in confronting all forms of terrorism, without distinction, by arresting and charging Hafiz Saeed for his crimes.”

Last month, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Washington was concerned that extremist groups were threatening Pakistan’s “stability and security”.

This came after the US President, Donald Trump, accused Pakistan of protecting terrorists who were threatening regional peace.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Pakistan being a sovereign country could not accept the idea of joint operation with the US against the militants and extremists inside Pakistan.

The US and Afghanistan allege Haqqani network leaders were hiding in Pakistan.

Islamabad told Washington it was willing to work with them but the “expectations should be logical.”

Another official at the foreign ministry said Pakistan had told the US that Pakistan’s forces were capable to deal with the extremists and militants’ threats and there was no room for a joint operation.

“We have referred to our success across the country. However, we have assured them that the rise of extremism will be checked as it is our issue. More than the US , we are concerned about the advances of the extremists,” he told The Nation.

International affairs expert Dr AZ Hilali said the US had itself failed in Afghanistan and was instead attempting to label Pakistan as a failure.

“Pakistan is the only country that has defeated terrorists. The US has failed in Afghanistan. How can they help Pakistan. They in fact need our help,” he said.

Hilali said the US was supporting India’s position when it criticised Hafiz Saeed’s release or extremists’ threat. Defence analyst and former brigadier Said Nazir said the US had been pushing Pakistan to “do more” even after Pakistan laid so many sacrifices.

“The world acknowledges our efforts against the extremists but the US always asks us to do more. Pakistan must now look towards other alliances. We should strengthen ties with Afghanistan,” he said. Brigadier Nazir said the Pak-US relations had never been consistent.  “The US has never supported Pakistan against terrorism as it should have done. They are supporting India and are speaking their language,” he added.