ISLAMABAD Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the Government of Pakistan is doing its utmost to strengthen cooperation with the US in intelligence sharing and defence sector to root out the menace of terrorism and militancy from its territory and expects friendly countries like US to share with it credible and actionable information rather than indulging in blame game in order to achieve the shared and common goal of succeeding against militancy. Talking to the US Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and US Senator Jack Read, Member of the Committee, who called on him at the Prime Ministers Secretariat Friday afternoon, Premier Gilani stressed the need for making concerted efforts to bridge the trust gap between the two states which was having negative impact on the ongoing combat against terror. The Prime Minister said that the entire Pakistani nation was standing behind the state institutions in the war against terrorism and extremism. He emphasised the importance of rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in the cleared areas, while regretting that pledges of assistance to Pakistan towards that end still remained unfulfilled. He said the situation had become further exacerbated under the circumstances as Pakistan was now constrained to divert its development budget towards the war efforts. The Prime Minister stated that the existing support of people of Pakistan for Pakistans military operations could dissipate unless there was a socio-economic development and rehabilitation of the infrastructure in the affected areas. He also added that the US and other economic partners must realise that time was fast running out on addressing the root causes of terror i.e. poverty, illiteracy, hunger disease and unemployment. He said, If we all fail to timely and effectively tackle the real reasons behind the phenomenon of militancy, the sympathies in the affected region of Pakistan and Afghanistan grow and the for militants and terrorists would undermine our common aim of succeeding against this menace. The Prime Minister underlined the need of a fair and non-discriminatory approach on the part of US in its relations with the regional countries particularly when people and Armed Forces of Pakistan were making matchless sacrifices in this war. He said his Government had always tried to address the public misperceptions about the Pakistan-US relations and expected the US Government to also do the same on its side and attach the importance of its relations with Pakistan that it deserved. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan wanted to have good neighbourly relations with India and peaceful resolution of all the contentious issues between the two countries particularly the Kashmir and water disputes, so that it could entirely focus its attention on its western border for rooting out terrorism. The Prime Minister said that peace and stability in Afghanistan was of foremost importance to his Government as it was inextricably linked to the peace and stability in Pakistan. He said Pakistan had repeatedly offered its assistance for building Afghan institutions, providing training to Afghan army, police and bureaucracy. He stated that Pakistan was constructively engaging with the US and other international partners to promote the shared goals of peace, security and development in Afghanistan. Pakistan is ready to help the Government of Afghanistan in its reconciliation and reintegration policy, if it so desires, the PM added. He informed the US Senators that the Afghan Foreign Minister who had recently visited Islamabad had been asked by his Government to share with it Afghan Governments plans and Pakistan was awaiting the Afghan response to that request. Pakistan, he said, believes that all the ethnic groups in Afghanistan need to be engaged politically to supplement efforts for sustainable stability. Senator Carl Levin and Senator Jack Reed acknowledged the fact that bilateral relations between Pakistan and the US have remained on an upward trajectory and had been significantly strengthened since the installation of democratic government in Pakistan. They commended the Prime Minister for his constructive and pro-active role in pursuing cooperation with the US in the war against terror and normalising ties with Afghanistan and India. They agreed with the Prime Minister that there was an urgent need to remove the mistrust which regretfully still prevailed on both sides, in the interest of a long-term sustained and robust friendship between the two countries. They assured the Prime Minister that they, in their personal capacities, would continue striving for further strengthening of the intelligence sharing and defence cooperation and better understanding of each others positions. US Ambassador Anne W Patterson, Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Minister for Interior Senator Rehman Malik, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan, Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, Secretaries Defence and Foreign Affairs and other senior officers were also present in the meeting.