WASHINGTON (Reuters/AFP) - As President Barack Obama discusses the US strategy towards Pakistan with his top advisers Wednesday, Pakistans foreign minister appealed for market access, military technology - and above all, trust. Shah Mehmood Qureshi dismissed concerns that expanded US aid to Pakistan had too many strings attached, but said the countrys wobbling economy needed more, in particular access for its goods to Western markets. The challenge we face is far larger than that, he told Reuters. We are not asking for you to keep doling out money and aid, we are asking for greater market access. Better trade with the European Union and the US can help our economy stabilize. Qureshi, speaking on the eighth anniversary of the US-led war in Afghanistan, said that trouble in the region was largely blowback from the US failure to stay engaged after defeating the Soviets. As President Barack Obama examines sending more troops to Afghanistan, Qureshi insisted that Pakistan was helping fight militants and said that peace and stability in its neighbour are in Pakistans interest. If Pakistan achieves economic growth commensurate with its potential, it will naturally help Afghanistan, Qureshi said at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. Is it wiser to fight the fire, or take away the oxygen that is fuelling it? he asked. He was clear in his request: Pakistan needs US investments in our infrastructure and access to your markets. The US Congress last week approved a five-year, 7.5 billion-dollar package to build roads, schools and democratic institutions in Pakistan. It has not yet finalised a proposal to give duty-free access to parts of the conflict zone. Some Pakistanis, including the military, say that the aid package comes with too many strings attached. But Qureshi praised the aid package and said that Pakistan was increasing its education budget. With good schooling opportunities, he said, the seminaries that preach violence will die a natural death. Such madrassas did not exist in Pakistan until after a US-backed Jehadi guerrilla campaign ousted the Soviet Union from Afghanistan in 1989, Qureshi said. Much of what Pakistan faces today is blowback from the defeat of the Soviet Union, Qureshi said Pakistan and Afghanistan were left alone to deal with the aftermath, he said. You left - you left in a hurry. In an earlier television interview, Qureshi said Pakistans top brass is united in the battle against extremists and downplayed accounts that elements of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency were on the other side. I think theyre on board, Qureshi said on public broadcaster PBSs Charlie Rose Show. I think the present leadership in the ISI, the present army chief of Pakistan, are very clear that these elements are no friends of Pakistan, Qureshi said of Islamic extremists. But Western officials say some ISI elements still abet extremists, sometimes even tipping off Al-Qaeda figures about impending US military actions. On the whereabouts of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, who Washington says is sheltering in Quetta, Qureshi dismissed those charges and professed ignorance The United States, he said, needed to have a little bit more faith in the ISI. If you keep doubting them, and dont expect them to cooperate with you, thats a contradiction, he said. Either trust them or dont trust them. Dont have one step forward, two steps backward. As Obama mulls whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, he is also considering other ideas, like stepped-up bombing attacks on Taliban and al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan. You have to understand our sensitivities, Qureshi said in the interview with Reuters. The way out that we have suggested is the use of drones, but under our ownership. Transfer technology to Pakistan and then let us use them. Qureshi said the Obama administration was considering the issue. Their mind is not shut to the arguments that we have projected, he said. We have a common objective. You have to see the gains you make by going ahead and engaging with us on this issue. Qureshi said the Pakistani army would most certainly carry out a long-overdue military campaign against militants sheltering in the rugged Waziristan region on the Afghan border, once it had marshalled the necessary resources.