WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has dismissed the possibility of a war with Pakistan after Afghan president Hamid Karzai pledged to support Islamabad if such a situation ever arose, saying, its not going to happen. Responding to questions about Karzais statement, spokespersons for both the White House and the State Department underscored the importance of US relations with Pakistan, especially in combating militants and extremists. Our cooperation with Pakistan continues and is vital to our efforts to combat Al-Qaeda. And, I mean, thats a hypothetical that doesnt have a lot of bearing on current reality, President Barack Obamas spokesman Jay Carney said. The White House press secretary was asked by a reporter to comment on Karzais avowed support for Pakistan in response to a hypothetical question in a television interview about Kabuls position in the event of US ever going to war with Afghanistans neighbour. Carney, who spoke in the backdrop of some recent strains between the United States and Pakistan and latest attempts to repair the ties, called the relations between two anti-terror partners as complicated but important. At the State Department, spokesperson Victoria Nuland echoed Secretary of State Hillary Clintons reaction that ruled out the possibility of any war between the United States and Pakistan. My boss (Clinton) spoke to that yesterday, and she said its not an issue because its not going to happen, the spokesperson said, when a reporter sought Washingtons reaction to Karzais statement during the daily briefing. Nuland described Secretary Clintons talks with the Pakistani leadership as timely and good, adding the United States wants Islamabads support for the Afghan reconciliation process. We had a very good, important, timely, serious, concrete set of consultations, and now we need to move forward with a work plan and with concrete action. The State Department spokesperson also referred to Secretary Clintons remarks in Pakistani TV interviews during which she talked about many of the specific ways of squeezing the (Afghan) Haqqani Network that we want to pursue together, and we want to see the Pakistanis lead on. During the trip to Islamabad last week, Nuland said, the US side was extremely clear about the very frank and full and good conversation that the Clinton led with the Pakistani officials on the need to both fight militants and talk as part of reconciliation process. On the fight side, the US has intensified support for an Afghan-led effort to clean out the safe havens on the Afghanistan side of the border, that were looking to work with our Pakistani partners and counterparts to do more against the safe havens on the Pakistani side. On the talk front, that we are prepared to support and we want to see Pakistan also support an Afghan-led reconciliation effort for those who are willing to come off the battlefield along the red lines that the Afghans have laid out. Agencies add: She said that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her senior counterparts had a very frank and good conversation with the Pakistani authorities about the need to fight and talk with terrorists. We are prepared to talk to those terrorists who come off the battlefield and respect the red lines drawn by the Afghan government for this process, she said. She said US officials had a very timely and serious consultation about Haqqani network in Pakistan and it is now time to move forward with the agreed work plan and with concrete action. Nuland said that Afghan-led reconciliation talks should accelerate and Pakistan should also play its role. Nuland said the US strongly favoured Afghan action against terrorists sanctuaries along Afghan side of the border while Pakistan also needed to target terrorist safe havens on its side. Meanwhile, the United States has the right to target the Haqqani network that not only kills American troops in Afghanistan, but also sponsors Inter-Services Intelligence, said Senator Carl Levin, who chairs the powerful US Senate Armed Services Committee. In a major policy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, Levin, who is one of the most cerebral foreign policy experts, took a hefty swipe at Pakistans Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. He argued that Admiral Mullen was right to say that a flawed relationship with Pakistan is better than none at all. But at the same time he said, In continuing to find ways to improve a 'flawed relationship we must also speak clearly. Khars threat that if the US persists in allegations about the ISI-Haqqani connection, it 'will lose an ally, should be met with a response that if the only option that Pakistan presents us is a choice between losing an ally and continuing to lose our troops, then we will choose the former, he asserted. The greatest threat to security in Afghanistan is that posed by the safe havens that harbour insurgents across the border in Pakistan, Levin said. The senator argued that the threat emanating from these safe havens was not new. We have known about it for years, and weve repeatedly pressed the Pakistanis to act, he claimed. It is simply unacceptable for the US to spend its blood and treasure so that Afghanistan does not once again become a breeding ground for militants, he said. If Pakistan will not take on the threat posed by the Haqqanis and other extremist groups then we should be prepared to take steps to defend our troops. It is consistent with established principles of international law for the US to defend itself and Afghanistan against cross-border attacks by insurgents based in Pakistan. According to Levin, the US has the right not only to target forces and artillery attacking Afghanistan, but to also target people controlling those forces as well. He said as Defence Secretary (Leon) Panetta has said, the message that the Pakistanis need to know is that the US is going to do everything that we can to defend our forces. Theres also evidence that the Pakistanis have interfered with attempts to achieve political reconciliation in Afghanistan, obstructing peace talks unless they can exercise control over the Taliban. We should be clear with the Pakistanis that obstruction of reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan is also an impediment to improved relations with us. The senator also slammed the US State Department for not designating the Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist organisation. Levin said what the Pakistanis were doing by sponsoring the Haqqani network was essentially trying to buy time. Theyve tried to buy peace. Theyve tried to buy them off by essentially allowing them to operate from its soil if they focussed on troops across the border. Will that end up biting them? It may or may not. But its biting us. And I think what will bite them would be the loss of a stronger relationship with the United States, he said. When asked what leverage the US has to apply against Pakistan to persuade Islamabad to be in sync with the US in the war on terror, Levin said, If they see the relationship between us and them as a plus, either economically or militarily, that relationship cannot be normal as long as their land is used as a base of attack. Thats number one. Number two, obviously theres a significant amount of economic and military support that we provide which is in jeopardy because of this threat from their territory against our troops. You cant have a relationship where were supporting a country that is actively, as well as passively both helping to kill our troops, he concluded.