WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, marking the 10th anniversary of the US military campaign in Afghanistan, has said Qaeda was on the ropes but enormous challenges remain to rebuild the country. In delivering justice to Osama bin Laden and many other Qaeda leaders, we are closer than ever to defeating Qaeda and its murderous network, Obama said in a statement. Obama acknowledged enormous challenges that remain in Afghanistan - alluding to violence in which nearly 1,800 US personnel have died, assassinations of government figures and deep corruption - but still he claimed progress. Weve pushed the Taliban out of its key strongholds, Afghan security forces are growing stronger, and the Afghan people have a new chance to forge their own future, he said. Washingtons war strategy has been complicated by Pakistan, which Obama said during a White House news conference on Thursday had resisted cutting ties with unsavoury characters as it hedged its bets on Afghanistans future. White House press secretary Jay Carney said the US strategy had suffered setbacks and successes in Afghanistan but the presidents prime goal to disrupt, dismantle and ultimately defeat Qaeda was on track. Special Correspondent adds: The US is concerned about its negative image among the Pakistanis, and its diplomats are now trying to reach out to the people to correct the situation, the State Department said.. 'We are concerned about the public opinion polling numbers in Pakistan, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, when asked why the US is perceived by many Pakistanis as their number one enemy despite billions of dollars in aid. Nulands comments came just hours after President Barack Obama warned Pakistan on its alleged ties with militant groups, saying Washington will not accept a long-term relationship in which Pakistan is 'not mindful of US interests. The spokesperson told the daily briefing that the US continues to engage Pakistanis at various levels to work on 'absolutely essential issues. 'This has been one of the key focuses of our Embassy in Islamabad, to try to give an accurate picture to a broad cross-section of Pakistanis about all that we have tried to do as a nation to support Pakistans own democratic reform efforts, education in Pakistan, quality of life, micro-lending, economic projects. Its sometimes hard to permeate, given the intense emotions about other aspects of the relationship. Last month, the then chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen publicly accused the Haqqani network of being a 'veritable arm of Pakistans intelligence agency ISI, which prompted furious response from Islamabad. The recent row has sent the two countries relations to a new low, which had already been seriously damaged after US special forces secretly entered Pakistan and killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May. At the briefing, the spokesperson noted that the US civilian assistance to Pakistan, which has not been touched, is all focused on 'trying to strengthen Pakistans own efforts to grow the economy, improve and modernise education and to help more people out of poverty. 'We will continue to make those efforts to support Pakistan. Meanwhile, US special envoy for the region Marc Grossman, currently on a trip to Central Asia, will visit Pakistan this weekend and hold discussions with Islamabad on counter-terror cooperation and bilateral relationship. 'We are engaged intensively with Pakistan at all levels. That engagement will continue. Marc Grossman will be there over the weekend, and we look forward to continuing to try to work together on these absolutely essential issues, both for their security, for our security, and for the region, Nuland said.