NEW YORK - US military and technical personnel are training Pakistani forces in secret operations aimed at battling al-Qaeda and the Taliban, The New York Times reported Monday. Citing US military officials, the newspaper said in a report from Bara more than 70 US military advisers and technical specialists - mostly Army Special Forces personnel - are providing Pakistani army and paramilitary forces with intelligence and tactical training. However, the US forces are not conducting combat operations, the officials told the Times. The secret task force is overseen by the US Central Command and Special Operations Command, and has the support of the Pakistani government and military, in an effort to root out Qaeda and Taliban operations that threaten American troops in Afghanistan and are increasingly destabilising Pakistan, the report said. The operation, which has been under way since last summer, has resulted in the death or capture of 60 people, including at least five high-ranking militants, a Pakistani military official said. "It is a much larger and more ambitious effort than either country has acknowledged," the report said. Pakistani officials, it said, have vigorously protested American missile strikes in the tribal areas as a violation of sovereignty and have resisted efforts by Washington to put more troops on Pakistani soil. "President Asif Ali Zardari, who leads a weak civilian government, is trying to cope with soaring anti-Americanism among Pakistanis and a belief that he is too close to Washington," The Times said. "Despite the political hazards for Islamabad, the American effort is beginning to pay dividends. A new Pakistani commando unit within the Frontier Corps paramilitary force has used information from the Central Intelligence Agency and other sources to kill or capture as many as 60 militants in the past seven months, including at least five high-ranking commanders," an unnamed senior Pakistani military official said. The Times said senior American military officials remain frustrated that they have been unable to persuade the Chief of the Pakistani Army, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, to embrace serious counterinsurgency training for the army itself. "General Kayani, who is visiting Washington this week as a White House review on policy for Afghanistan and Pakistan gets under way, will almost certainly be asked how the Pakistani military can do more to eliminate Al-Qaeda and the Taliban from the tribal areas. "The American officials acknowledge that at the very moment when Washington most needs Pakistan's help, the greater tensions between Pakistan and India since the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last November have made the Pakistani Army less willing to shift its attention to the Qaeda and Taliban threat." Officials from both Pakistan and the United States agreed to disclose some details about the American military advisers and the enhanced intelligence sharing to help dispel impressions that the missile strikes were thwarting broader efforts to combat a common enemy, The Times said on condition of anonymity, citing the increasingly powerful anti-American segment of the Pakistani population. Intelligence from Pakistani informants has been used to bolster the accuracy of missile strikes from remotely piloted Predator and Reaper aircraft against the militants in the tribal areas, officials from both countries say. More than 30 attacks by the aircraft have been conducted since last August, most of them after President Zardari took office in September, The Times said. It cited a senior Pakistani as saying that a small team of Pakistani air defence controllers working in the United States Embassy in Islamabad ensures that Pakistani F-16 fighter-bombers conducting missions against militants in the tribal areas do not mistakenly hit remotely piloted American aircraft flying in the same area or a small number of CIA operatives on the ground. "The newly minted 400-man Pakistani paramilitary commando unit is a good example of the new cooperation," The Times said. As part of the Frontier Corps, which operates in the tribal areas, the new Pakistani commandos fall under a chain of command separate from the 500,000-member army, which is primarily trained to fight Pakistan's archenemy, India. The commandos are selected from the overall ranks of the Frontier Corps and receive seven months of intensive training from Pakistani and American Special Forces. General Kayani was expected to take a long shopping list for more transport and combat helicopters to Washington, the dispatch said. The question of more F-16s - which many in Congress assert are intended for the Indian front - will also come up, Pakistani officials said. The United States missile strikes, which the Times noted have resulted in civilian casualties, have stirred heated debate among senior Pakistani government and military officials, despite the government's private support for the attacks. One American official described General Kayani, who is known to be sensitive about the necessity of public support for the army, as very concerned that the American strikes had undermined the army's authority. "These strikes are counterproductive," Owais Ahmed Ghani, the governor of NWFP, said in an interview with The New York Times in his office in Peshawar. "This is looking for a quick fix, when all it will do is attract more jihadis." Pakistani army officers say the American strikes draw retaliation against Pakistani troops in the tribal areas, whose convoys and bases are bombed or attacked with rockets after each United States missile strike.