NEW YORK Underscoring the militants growing threat to Pakistan and the United States, US President Barack Obama has said that his administration would not hesitate from striking inside Pakistan if it had actionable intelligence against top Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders. I dont want to comment on certain sensitive aspects to our efforts in this border region. I think it is fair to say, number one, that my principle is if weve got actual war intelligence on high-ranking Al-Qaeda leaders, or for those matter high-ranking Taliban leaders who are directing actions against US troops, then we will take action, Obama said on CBS 60 Minutes programme on Sunday night. A lot of this border region is big and complicated. And even a city like Quetta is a big city. And, you know, we have to respect the sovereignty of Pakistan as we engage in potential actions that would involve going into a major metropolitan area with a lot of civilians around it. We expect Pakistan to cooperate more effectively in the future than they have in the past, he said. At the same time, the President said the United States will respect Pakistans sovereignty if it engaged in actions against militants in major metropolitan area, without explaining how. He was responding to a question about why the Obama Administration had not taken any action against the Taliban leadership in Quetta near the Pak-Afghan border, with drone strikes against them. A lot of this border region is big and complicated. And even a city like Quetta is a big city. And, you know, we have to respect the sovereignty of Pakistan as we engage in potential actions that would involve going into a major metropolitan area with a lot of civilians around it. President Obama urged the Pakistan government to recognise the degree to which the militants threatened their stability. This isnt Americas war. This isnt the Wests war. This is a situation in which youve got a very dangerous, extremist network that is growing, and right now is killing more Pakistanis than anybody else, he said. And we think that youre starting to see certainly in terms of public opinion, as well as within the military, a recognition of that growing threat. But it takes some times to operationalise, and our hope is that we see progress over the next couple of years. Asked whether the Pakistanis have any appetite for going after Mullah Omar in Quetta, the President said he believes that these networks are killing more Pakistanis than Americans, saying its in their interest to start moving in a new direction. How fast they do that in part is gonna depend on how effectively we can partner with them, he added. Obama said ever since occupying the White House, his administration has been trying to convince Pakistan that it is terrorism and not India which poses a threat to it and thus impressing upon Islamabad to shift more troops from its eastern border with India to its western front. We have had very detailed and serious conversations with the Pakistan government and the Pakistan military about the fact that their traditional orientation, which has been to compete with India, has now been overtaken by extremists within their own midst that are exploding bombs with impunity throughout Pakistan, he said. Replying to another question, the President said the US has been able to put pressure on Al-Qaeda, and take out key leadership not only in this region, but also in places like Somalia and Indonesia. Part of the reason were able to do that is because you dont just have a free-for-all in this space, he said. Our presence there has been helpful in pinning them in and restricting their movement and restricting their communications ability. We are going to need more cooperation from Pakistan. There is no doubt about that. And we have had very detailed and serious conversations with the Pakistan government and the Pakistan military about the fact that their traditional orientation, which has been to compete with India - thats what they view as their existential threat - has now been overtaken by extremists within their own midst that are exploding bombs with impunity throughout Pakistan. And youre starting to see that recognition from Pakistan. The Pakistani military this year has launched a more aggressive offensive into these border regions than ever before. We want to build on that, continue to partner with them on it, but to the extent that weve got a stable Afghanistan on the other side, that helps us convince the Pakistanis that this is an approach that they need to take....