WASHINGTON - The commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan told a Congressional panel Wednesday that some American combat troops might be included in an initial withdrawal from the war-torn country in July, but that no decision had been made. General David Petraeus also voiced confidence that the United States and Pakistan can move beyond the recent tensions over the Raymond Davis issue and take forward their bilateral cooperative relationship. The US relationship with them, which has, I think its fair to say, sustained a degree of tension in recent weeks, in particular as a result of the case involving the State Department employee. But hopefully we can move forward, take the review mirror off the bus and resume the very cooperative activities that have characterized the relationship in the past, he said. Petraeus told the powerful House of Representatives Armed Services Committee that the Pakistani, Afghan and ISAF cooperation along the Afghan border - where Taliban militants operate - has never been better than the current levels. Pakistan, he noted, has endured innumerable challenges in recent years: terrible natural disasters, a spread of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistani that forced the initiation some two years of very tough fighting, very impressive counterinsurgency operations, in which the Pakistanis have lost thousands of soldiers and also thousands of civilians. The fact is that the cooperation between Pakistan, the Afghan forces and ISAF forces has never been better. We have had a number of meetings literally just in the last couple of months to coordinate operations where Pakistan is continuing its offensive against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. Responding to pointed questions whether combat troops would be pulled out from Afghanistan, Petraeus said, I am still formulating the options that I will provide to the president (Barack Obama) and the recommendations that I will make, he said. But I do believe there will be some combat forces included in those options and in that recommendation. But he did not say how many combat troops might be withdrawn, or from which parts of the country they would come. A range of administration, Pentagon and military officials have said that the first American troops to come home in July are expected to be engineers and support troops, rather than combat soldiers, particularly because fighting is expected to be intense this summer and American commanders do not want to lose the territory they have gained. But General Petraeus is seeking to balance demands from the military with the White Houses insistence on something more than cosmetic withdrawals in July. He met with President Obama and Defence Secretary Robert Gates on Monday. Agencies add:?The most effective way to influence Pakistan to change its attitude towards militant outfits is for the US to succeed in Afghanistan wherein extremist groups like Taliban and Haqqani network would have no place, Petraeus said. It is generally assessed that the most effective way of influencing Pakistan in fact is by having it see that Afghanistan is going to turn out reasonably well; that indeed the Taliban, the Haqqani Network and some of these other organisations will not prevail, Petraeus said. Therefore, to reassess what relationships might exist with some of these organisations and whether its time to deal with them a bit more on Pakistani soil, where they have sanctuaries, noting that the Pakistanis have sustained enormous losses in the conduct of quite an impressive counterinsurgency campaign in what used to be Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.