WASHINGTON US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday pledged to significantly expand support aimed at developing the potential of Pakistan and its people at a congressional hearing on President Barack Obamas decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Our assistance will demonstrate the United States commitment to addressing problems that affect the everyday lives of Pakistanis and bring our people closer together. But it will also bolster Pakistan against the threat of extremism, she told the Senate Armed Services Committee convened to discuss Obamas revamped strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. It should be clear to everyone that - unlike the past - the United States and our allies and partners have an enduring commitment to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the region, Hillary said. We also believe that a strong, stable, democratic Pakistan must be a key partner for the US, and an ally in the fight against violent extremism. People in Pakistan are increasingly coming to the view that we share a common enemy. I heard this repeatedly during my recent visit. Our relationship is anchored in our common goals of civilian rule; robust economic development; and the defeat of those who threaten Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the peace of the world, she said. We will work with the Afghan and Pakistani governments to eliminate safe havens for those plotting attacks against us, our allies, and our interests, Hillary told the full committee, testifying along with Secretary of Defence Robert Gates and top US military officer Admiral Mike Mullen. Our regional diplomacy complements this political approach, by seeking to mitigate external interference in Afghanistan and working to shift the calculus of neighbouring countries from competition for influence to cooperation and economic integration, she said. We will help to stabilise a region that is fundamental to our national security; and we will develop a long-term, sustainable relationship with Afghanistan and Pakistan so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. Echoing President Obamas resolve to maintain ties in the region beyond the current Afghan conflict, she said, The duration of our military presence will be limited, but our civilian commitment must continue even as our troops begin to come home. The top US diplomat told the Senators that the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan is serious, but it is not, in my view, as negative as frequently portrayed in public. At the same time, she recognised that accomplishing the mission to disrupt and defeat Al-Qaeda and ensuring the safety of the American people will not be easy. It will mean sending more civilians, troops, and assistance to Afghanistan, and significantly expanding our civilian efforts in Pakistan. She renewed the Obama administrations emphasis on Pakistans critical role to the anti-militant effort in Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. Hillary noted that the international community is also expanding its support for Pakistan. We are in close touch with partners to coordinate assistance. We are also looking beyond Nato to build the broadest possible global coalition to meet this challenge. Our objectives are shared by people and governments from Europe to Australia, from Russia to China to India, and across the Middle East. And beginning with the Presidents speech in Cairo, we are reaching out to Muslims everywhere to make it clear that the US seeks to build a better future with them in a spirit of mutual respect and partnership. AFP adds: the top American diplomat said Washington will press Pakistan to do more against all the militant groups threatening Pakistan, its neighbours and the United States. Testifying about President Barack Obamas new strategy for the region, Hillary told lawmakers that the Pakistanis have shown over the last year their willingness to take on the Pakistani Taliban which directly threaten them. She added that Pakistani public opinion is now behind the recent military campaigns Pakistan has launched against the Taliban in the Swat Valley and South Waziristan, near the Afghan border. The unity of support that the people of Pakistan are showing for this effort is profoundly significant, but, as we have said, it is not enough, the chief US diplomat told Senate Armed Services Committee. It is difficult to parse out the different groups that are operating within Pakistan, all of whom we think are connected in one way or another with Al-Qaeda, and partition some off and go after the others, she said. It will be our continuing effort... to make the case that the Pakistanis have to do more against all of the insurgent terrorist groups that are threatening them, that are threatening us in Afghanistan and the Afghan people and are threatening other neighbours in the region, she added. One group she appeared to be referring to is Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based group that India, the United States and Britain blamed for last years attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai in which 10 heavily armed gunmen killed 166 people Testifying to lawmakers Wednesday about the Obama administrations new strategy, Hillary vowed not to repeat past US mistakes that have allowed extremists to thrive in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The extremists we are fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan have attacked us and our allies before, she said. If we allow them access to the very same safe havens they used before 2001, they will have a greater capacity to regroup and attack again, she said. The case for action against Al-Qaeda and its allies has always been clear, but the United States course of action over the last eight years has not, she said, alluding to the war in Iraq launched by president George W Bush. With the United States distracted, the Taliban gained momentum in Afghanistan, the chief US diplomat said. She warned of the new dangers from the Taliban and Al-Qaeda which are now encamped in the border regions of Pakistan, which she recalled has a nuclear arsenal.