WASHINGTON - Military cooperation between US and Pakistan continues to improve and Washington will continue to support the South Asian country in dealing with the shared threat of terrorism, according to a Pentagon spokesman.

"Cooperation with Pakistan and Pakistani military in general continues to improve," Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in response to a question at a news briefing.

At the same time, he said Pentagon was concerned over Pakistan being a safe haven for some militant groups. "The sanctuary that some of these groups enjoy in Pakistan has long been an issue of concern for us, it's long been a topic of discussion with our Pakistani counterparts," he added.

Kirby said it is for Pakistan to continue the fight against terrorism in its own interest, and noted that like the Paris victims, Pakistanis have been victims of terror.

“It's not about us putting pressure on the Pakistani government. It's about the Pakistani government continuing to address this threat in keeping with their best interests and the interests of their people,” Kirby replied, when a journalist suggested that Washington pressurise Pakistan into doing more.

“And it's a shared threat, a shared challenge that we have, and we have maintained an interest in helping them deal with, and that will continue.” “And, again, I want to remind, as I often do, that it's important to remember the Pakistani people have become - are victims of this - of terrorism, just like the people in Paris are this week.” Kirby emphasised that terrorism is a common threat to Pakistan and the United States.

“And it's a common threat, a common challenge that we all have to continue to work on together and to look for ways to improve that cooperation.

“I will also tell you that - that cooperation with Pakistan and Pakistani military in general continues to improve.” Meahwile, a leading American newspaper Saturday advocated continuation of US aid to Pakistan at a reduced level, saying, "Cutting aid precipitously would be unwise, but a managed decrease is in line with more realistic expectations about the diminished potential for bilateral cooperation."

"Since 9/11, the United States has provided Pakistan with billions of dollars, mostly in military aid, to help fight extremists. There are many reasons to have doubts about the investment. Still, it is in America’s interest to maintain assistance — at a declining level — at least for the time being. But much depends on what the money will be used for. One condition for new aid should be that Pakistan do more for itself — by cutting back on spending for nuclear weapons and requiring its elites to pay taxes," The New York Times wrote. In an editorial, captioned "Is Pakistan Worth America’s Investment?", the newspaper said: "Doubts about the aid centre on Pakistan’s army, which has long played a double game, accepting America’s money while enabling some militant groups, including members of the Afghan Taliban who have been battling American and Afghan troops in Afghanistan. The relationship hit bottom in 2011 when Osama bin Laden was found hiding in Pakistan and was killed by a Navy SEAL team. But it has since improved. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to visit Islamabad soon.

"After militants massacred 150 students and teachers at an army-run school in Peshawar last month, Pakistan’s government promised that it would no longer distinguish between “bad” militant groups, which are seeking to bring down the Pakistani state, and “good” militant groups that have been supported and exploited by the army to attack India and wield influence in Afghanistan. But there is little evidence that the army has gone after the “good” groups in a serious way.

"This double game is a big reason that the administration has been unable to fulfill Congress’s mandate to certify that Pakistan has met certain requirements, including preventing its territory from being used for terror attacks, as a condition of assistance. Instead, officials have had to rely on a national security waiver to keep aid flowing. "There is a case for doing that. After much foot-dragging, the Pakistani army is finally battling militants in the North Waziristan region, and American officials say there has been real progress.

"Also, Pakistan has allowed American drone attacks against militants along the border to resume, and is cooperating with the new Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani. Pakistan’s help is essential as Mr Ghani pursues peace talks with the Taliban. It also counts as progress that Pakistan completed a transition from one civilian government to another in 2013 and that the current government, while fragile, remains in place.

American officials say aid has allowed them to maintain some modest leverage with Pakistan’s leaders and to invest in projects that advance both countries’ interests, including energy, more than 600 miles of new roads and support for democratic governance. But it makes no sense to subsidise Pakistan’s policy failures, which include an obsession with nuclear weapons, paltry investments in education and a refusal to seriously combat extremism.

"Pakistan still receives more assistance than most countries, a holdover from the days when Washington mistakenly thought it might be a real partner. But the levels are declining and should continue to do so. Cutting aid precipitously would be unwise, but a managed decrease is in line with more realistic expectations about the diminished potential for bilateral cooperation."