US President Barack Obama has ruled out any American mediation on Kashmir issue by saying that bilateral dialogue is the best way to reduce tension between India and Pakistan. We want to be helpful in that process, but I dont think its appropriate for us to be the mediators in that process. I think that this is something that the Pakistanis and Indians can take leadership on, Obama told a private Pakistani television channel on Saturday. I believe that there are opportunities, may be not starting with Kashmir but starting with other issues, that Pakistan and India can be in a dialogue together and over time to try to reduce tensions and find areas of common interest, he said. Responding to a query about why his administration has been silent on Kashmir issue, he said India and Pakistan both were great friends of the Unites States, and his administration didnt want to dictate terms with both the nations. Well, I dont think that we have been silent on the fact that India is a great friend of the United States and Pakistan is a great friend of the United States, and it always grieves us to see friends fighting. And we cant dictate to Pakistan or India how they should resolve their differences, but we know that both countries would prosper if those differences are resolved, Obama said. On being asked whether India had indicated to resume dialogue with Pakistan, Obama said, Well, what we have said is that we think that all of South Asia would benefit by reduced tensions between India and Pakistan. Obama said the brief meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari could be seen as a good augur for resumption of dialogue between the two neighbouring countries. I think that dialogue is the best way to reduce tensions. And so, you know, were hopeful that Prime Minister Singh and President Zardari - they recently had an opportunity to meet briefly. It wasnt an extensive conversation but it was the start of what may end up being more productive conversations in the future, Obama underlined. US President exuded confidence that the nuclear weapons of Pakistan are safe and secure, about which a lot of concerns have been expressed in the recent past. I have confidence that the Pakistani government has safeguarded its nuclear arsenal. It is Pakistans nuclear arsenal, Obama told the television. I wont engage in hypotheticals like that, Obama said when asked: Do you actually see the possibility that one day the Taliban may take over those weapons? And if you see that happening, would you actually try to seize those weapons before the Taliban? However, Obama said he is concerned about growing extremism in the region. What I do have concerns about is making sure that the Taliban and other extremist organisations arent taking root in South Asia, in Afghanistan, in the Middle East, he said. The US President underlined the need for global cooperation to see that the cancer of terrorism does not take root. We want to partner with everybody to make sure that this cancer does not grow. One of the things that I said in my speech in Cairo is that Islam has an extraordinary tradition of tolerance and peaceful coexistence and that tradition is being distorted and being warped, Obama said. Obama said his administration has no intention to send American troops to Pakistan amid growing speculation that Washington could be preparing to help Islamabad as its army steps up the offensive against the Taliban militants in the restive tribal areas. Obama said US has no intention to send troops to Pakistan and it is for Islamabad and the Pakistan military to deal with the situation in the country. Well, again, we dont comment on specific operations. I will tell you that we have no intention of sending US troops into Pakistan, Obama told the TV channel, when asked if the US would send its troops to Pakistan if it had specific information about the presence of Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan. We simply want to make sure that our common enemies, which are extremists who would kill innocent civilians, that that kind of activity is stopped, and we believe that it has to be stopped whether its in the United States or in Pakistan or anywhere in the world, he said. We would much prefer being a partner with countries like Afghanistan or Pakistan, and simply work together on issues of common interests like commerce and increasing trade and improving development in all countries, Obama said. He underlined Washingtons determination to stand up against those who distorted religion and were trying to wreak havoc worldwide. But its very difficult to do that if you have people who have distorted a great religion and are now trying to wreak havoc not only in the West but most often directed against fellow Muslims in places like Pakistan. And that is something that we will always stand against, Obama said. Obama said that any American military aid to Pakistan needs to be used against extremism, supporting lawmakers concerns that the new financial aid should not end up building up the Pakistan Army against India. We have in the past supported Pakistan militarily. I think it is important to make sure that military support is directed at extremists and our common enemies, Obama said in the interview without directly referring to the concerns raised by several American lawmakers in recent past who wanted to have tough conditions on Pakistan in lieu of any new military aid. Many US lawmakers in the past have expressed concern that Pakistan has used American financial aid to build up its army, rather than fight extremism in its restive tribal areas. Obama underlined the need to help Pakistan strengthen its resources that will facilitate development in the country. My view is that we have to help Pakistan to provide them the resources that will allow for development, Obama said. The US President said the support provided to Pakistan is focused primarily on the internally displaced persons, who have been uprooted from their homes due to military operations in the restive northern areas. His administration has increased the non-military aid to Pakistan to USD 1.5 billion a year for the next five years. The President talked about the importance to base the bilateral ties beyond just military-to-military cooperation into something richer.