WASHINGTON (APP) - The United States is fostering a growing, sustained and trusted partnership with Pakistan, as the two countries work to deny al-Qaeda safe haven in the border areas along Afghanistan, the top US military officer said Thursday. Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman Joint Chiefs Staff also cited Pakistans recent successful anti-militant campaigns in the northwestern regions as a measure of progress. And one of the ways I measure progress is if I look at Pakistan over the last 12 months and the success of their Frontier Corps, the success of their military in terms of its operations in Swat and the movement in that direction to address the extremists in their own country, he stated at a Pentagon news conference, appearing jointly with Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Mullen was hopeful that continuing Pakistani pressure would eventually provide security for their own people, who will turn al-Qaeda elements out of their areas. The two defense leaders brushed aside suggestions that it is time for the US to leave Afghanistan, saying the Obama Administrations goal to dismantle and destroy al-Qaeda cannot be achieved remotely without troops on the ground. Amid rising US troops casualties and waning American public backing for the Afghan war, they stressed patience for results. I dont believe that the war is slipping through the administrations fingers I absolutely do not think it is time to get out of Afghanistan, Gates said in response to suggestions about pullout from the insurgency-hit country, where the Taliban are reported to be in control at several places.