ISLAMABAD - US Senator John Kerry, the Chairman-designate of influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday urged both Pakistan and India to boost their cooperation in the ongoing fight against terrorism and resolve their conflicts through dialogue. Senator Kerry, who reached Islamabad on Monday from New Delhi, as special representative of President-elect Barack Obama to discuss Indo-Pak standoff following last month's Mumbai attacks, spent a busy day and held meetings with Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, COAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and also travelled to Peshawar to interact with Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani. Before, his departure for the US Tuesday evening, Senator Kerry told a group of journalists that Pakistani leadership had assured him that stern action would be taken, if anyone on Pakistani soil was found involved in the Mumbai attacks. Another leading US Senator Christopher S Bond, Vice-Chairman of the US Senate's Select Intelligence Committee, who is also visiting Pakistan, at a separate Press conference here defended the drone attacks inside Pakistan and said the strikes were focused on "high-value targets". He said COAS General Kayani and Director-General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) General Shuja Pasha during meetings with him expressed their concern over the drone strikes. He said they were given assurance that the missile strikes were based on credible intelligence information. When asked whether drone attacks would continue in the days to come, the US Senator replied in the affirmative, saying, "We do pursue the high-value targets." Earlier, Senator Kerry told newsmen that President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, Foreign Minister Qureshi and General Kayani condemned the ghastly act of terror in India's financial capital, Mumbai, and resolved that no one would be allowed, whether an individual or entities, to take decisions on important foreign policy issues without the government's consent. He also said Pakistani leadership came up with an assurance that all possible steps would be taken to dismantle the terrorist camps on Pakistani soil and take strict action against those involved in acts of subversion. He further said he heard strong pledges of cooperation by Pakistani officials of a joint investigation and sharing of information with India to prevent recurrence of incidents like Mumbai carnage. The American Senator said cooperation between Pakistan and India in the fight against terrorism was need of the hour. "It is important for Pakistan and India to talk and use cooperative effort to eliminate this kind of threat," he added. He stated there was some miscommunication between Pakistan and India in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks but apt handling by Pakistan of the issue of technical airspace violation had sent signal to India that Pakistan was willing to respond positively. He, however, said that India would not be satisfied merely by words and some action had to be shown. He maintained the United States was committed to help Pakistan in economy and other areas but there had to be a clear understanding about the rules of cooperation. When asked about his meeting with President Zardari, Senator Kerry said the Pakistani President was very clear that it was time for joint collaborative efforts against the menace of terror. "He (President Zardari) also said if there was any evidence against anyone, action would be taken," the US Senator said. He said the US would be in close contact with the two countries to see how they deal with each other in coming days. Responding to a question on possible US mediation between Islamabad and New Delhi for the resumption of talks, Senator Kerry said he had just made a personal effort but would like to see both the nations talking to each other. It would be better for two sides to resort to dialogue so as to defuse tensions and make well-coordinated moves that could be more effective against the global terrorism. When asked whether the Mumbai attacks were related to Kashmir dispute, he said that he did not think so but added that this important issue needed to be resolved amicably. Agencies add: US Senator John Kerry said he had been assured by COAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani that the crackdown on Lashkar-e-Taiba, accused by India of involvement in last month's Mumbai attacks, jihadi organisation and affiliated groups would be harsher than that following a raid on India's parliament in 2001. The US Senator said Pakistan's civilian and military leadership felt the need to eradicate any group that threatened to deflect the country from a democratic path. "Kayani made clear they are moving on Lashkar-e-Taiba camps and training centres. He said ... 'We are doing this and we are committed to doing this'," Kerry quoted the COAS as telling him, according to a The Post Chronicle report. The Mumbai assaults had convinced Pakistani leaders of the need for a serious crackdown on the LT. Kerry said Gen Kayani told him that the struggle was against groups who wanted to decide whether Pakistan went to war, whether it had security and whether it could protect its citizens. The senator said LT had "morphed into a more Al-Qaeda-esque radicalised entity". That realisation, he said, appeared to have led to a sharp change in thinking within Pakistan's leadership. "I think the evidence has now changed and the choices are changed," he said. He further said Pakistani security forces had detained more people than India was aware of in a sweep that began a little over a week ago, and the government was intent on convicting anyone linked to the Mumbai attacks. But he hedged when asked whether he believed that Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the founder of LT and head of a related charity Jamaatud Daawa, or Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of Jaish-e-Muhammad, would be taken out of business by the latest crackdown. "Now we're all going to watch," Kerry said. "This is still evolving... and it is safe to say there is still some distance to travel." Kerry during his stay met President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Adviser to PM on National Security Mahmood Ali Durrani, the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, Governor NWFP and senior military officials in Peshawar. Abrar Saeed adds: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said that Pakistan wanted to have cordial and friendly ties with all its neighbours, including India, and would not allow any individual or entity to harm the bilateral ties between the two countries through their activities. He further said that Pakistan remained committed to the composite dialogue and wished to resolve all the outstanding issues with India amicably. The Prime Minister expressed these views while talking to the visiting Senator John F Kerry, the next chairman of US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who called on him at the PM House Tuesday afternoon. The Prime Minister briefed the US Senator in detail on Pakistan's sincere initiatives to help investigate the Mumbai attacks and normalise relations with India, the actions taken to comply with its international obligations under UNSC resolution, the human and economic sacrifices made in facing the challenges of extremism, terrorism and efforts undertaken by Pakistan to improve relations with Afghan government and for helping it. Prime Minister underlined that the frequent drones' attacks on Pakistan territory were rendering his government's efforts futile to isolate the peaceful segment of tribal populace from the militants. He also called upon the US leadership to revisit its policy and stop violations of Pakistan's territory in the common interest of defeating terrorists in the region. Senator John Kerry agreed with the Prime Minister that continuing drone attacks, causing large scale collateral damage, were counter productive in international war against terrorism and promised that he on his return would seek review of this policy. While apprising the Prime Minister of Indian misgivings about the actions being taken by Pakistan against the individuals and entities listed by the UN sanctions committee, he urged that both side need to change their mindset and sit together to cooperate with each other in the ongoing investigations. The Indian side should share, whatever evidence it has gathered, with Pakistan and Pakistan's side should also endeavour to bridge the trust deficit with India. The Senator while appreciating the candidness of the Prime Minister stated that he was taking a very clear and important message from him to his government and will do, whatever he can, to help Pakistan. He also assured the Prime Minister that he would work for the early passage of the Biden-Lugar Bill by the US Congress and take up the issue of Pakistan's genuine economic and defense requirements at the Capitol Hill and with the new US administration. Senator Kerry also acknowledged that lack of capacity of Pakistan's law enforcement agencies and delay in mid-life upgradation of its F-16s were impeding its capacity in confronting the menace of terrorism and needs to be remedied by the US side. He said that he considered a vibrant, strong and economically viable Pakistan vital for the peace and stability of South Asia. The meeting was attended by the Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, PM Advisor on National Security Maj General (Retd) Mehmud Ali Durrani and secretaries of foreign affairs, interior and defense ministries. US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W Patterson was also present in the meeting.