WASHINGTON - Visiting Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, under intense American pressure to shutdown the so-called Taliban safe havens in Pakistan's tribal areas, has called on the United States not to act "unilaterally" against the militants. Appearing on CNN after his talks with President George W Bush and other administration officials, Gilani urged patience and the need for greater intelligence cooperation, saying Pakistan was committed to fighting extremists. "This is a war which is against Pakistan, and we'll fight for our own cause." Meanwhile, responding to a question at the State Department briefing whether the US would sell more arms to Pakistan, spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos, gave a positive response using diplomatic language. "The issue here is to assist Pakistan in building their democratic institutions and providing a stable base which those democratic institutions can conduct themselves, and providing proper balance of security for the country so that it can sustain peaceful operations of those democratic institutions," he said. Asked by CNN about a suspected US missile strike on an Al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan on Monday, Gilani said he had told Bush that "unilaterally it should not be done." "We must have more cooperation with each other and it's our job because we are fighting the war for ourselves," he said. Gilani declined to directly accuse the United States of being behind the missile attack, which security officials in Pakistan said had targeted Egyptian militant Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, Al-Qaeda's top expert on chemical and biological weapons. But he said if it was proven to have been a US operation, it would be a violation of Pakistani sovereignty. "Basically Americans are a little impatient. Therefore in the future I think we'll have more cooperation on the intelligence side and we'll do the job ourselves," he said. Bush said he had received a "strong commitment" from Gilani that Pakistan would try "as best as possible" to prevent Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants from crossing from Pakistan into Afghanistan, where they attack US and NATO troops. "We talked about the common threat we face, extremists who are very dangerous people," Bush said. "We also appreciate the prime minister's strong words against the extremists and terrorists who not only would do us harm, but have harmed people inside Pakistan. Bush called Pakistan a "strong ally" and said the United States "supports the sovereignty of Pakistan." "It's tense in that we're working together" to fight terrorism. "But I think that we are much more on the same page than some people would like to paint," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. Perino declined to comment on the missile strike and neither Bush nor Gilani mentioned it while talking to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House. Both the US-led military coalition and the separate NATO force in Afghanistan said they were not involved. However, the US Central Intelligence Agency is also known to operate missile-launching drones in the South Waziristan region where the attack took place. Umar, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, had a five-million-dollar bounty on his head and allegedly ran terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. He is described by the website of the US Government Rewards for Justice programme as an "explosives expert and poisons trainer working on behalf of Al-Qaeda." The missile strike came amid mounting speculation the United States is prepared to launch military raids into Pakistan's troubled tribal belt in pursuit of extremists. A joint statement issued following their talks said Bush and Gilani "acknowledged that terrorism and violent extremism pose a common threat to Pakistan, the United States, and the international community. "The two leaders pledged to work together to address this threat and to deny any space to militants or terrorists through increased cooperation," the statement said. Perino said Bush had also allocated increased aid to Pakistan. "The president offered $115 million over two years in food aid and $42.5 million of that will be available over the next six to nine months," she said. In his CNN interview, Gilani also urged all anti-terrorism partners to do more to wipe out terrorism and sought Washington's help to enhance Pakistan's counterterrorism capacity as well as improve intelligence sharing for more effective results. He said that "his government is certainly doing its best" as Pakistan is "fighting the war for ourselves." "There are two things. One is the will, the other is ability. We have the will. But at the same time, the militants are equipped with the most sophisticated weapons in the world""therefore, when the US cooperation is more on the defense side, we'll be able to have more capabilities of fighting. He also pointed out the fact that Pakistan has inherited about three million refugees from Afghanistan. "We have a difficult terrain. We have a huge, long border. And we have set up about 900 to 1,000 posts, checkposts. And on the other side, the NATO has fixed about 100 posts." Pakistan, he said, has also introduced biometric system, which can help get hold of militants. "But on the other side, they're not cooperating." "At the same time, it is a challenge and it is a challenge for both of us. Even you can understand, for the last five years, they're fighting war. The war is not like an ordinary war. It's a guerrilla war. And so we are fighting the war, too, but for our own interests because I've lost my own leader, Benazir Bhutto, because of this terrorism and extremism." Speaking at a dinner reception hosted on Monday night in his honour by Pakistan's Ambassador to United States Husain Haqqani at Pakistan Embassy, the Prime Minister said the war against terrorism is not just an American war and that Pakistan is fighting it for its own cause. Besides ministers and a large number of Pakistani community, the dinner was also attended by many top US officials including Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher, CIA chief Michael Hayden, US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson, former CENTCOM Commander Gen Anthony Zinni, Congresswoman Nita Lowey and Senator Maria Cantwell. Prime Minister Gilani said Pakistan was pursuing war against terrorism and extremism as its own problems and not on the behalf of another country. "This is not a Charlie Wilson's war - it is Benazir Bhutto's war," the Prime Minister said, referring to the former US lawmaker who was a strong backer of the Afghan Mujahideen, adding PPP leader Benazir Bhutto was also assassinated in a terror attack. of Pak-US relations, the Prime Minister said the current partnership was a continuation of a longstanding relationship spanning 60 years. "We fought side by side to support the liberation of Afghanistan from the Soviet Union. Now we fight side by side to defeat the forces of extremism and terrorism that threaten the civilised war," he said. The Prime Minister said a stable and prosperous Pakistan was not only in the interest of the region but also for United States. "The stability is not only in Pakistan's interest, but in the US national interest and in the strategic interest of the entire civilised world," he said. He said the Pak-US relationship needed to expand to people-to-people partnership in which the people of Pakistan share the ideals of democracy, liberty and justice as cherished by the American people. "The government believes that common values are as important as shared interests," he said. The Prime Minister lauded the efforts of Senator Cantwell, Senator Hatch, Senator Hagel and Senator Bond for introducing the Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) Bill in the Congress, which said would provide preferential access to the US market for goods manufactured in designated areas of Pakistan. "A prosperous FATA will cease to be a breeding ground for extremism," the Prime Minister said. He said the government appreciated the constructive role played by United States in encouraging peace process in South Asia and hoped that the role would not only remain confined to conflict management but would extend to facilitating conflict resolution. On Indo-Pak relations, the Prime Minister said it showed that democracy in Pakistan had invariably led to a better and more peaceful relationship between the two countries. "The future of peace in South Asia depends on a democratic and prosperous Pakistan and India working in common purpose to solve common problems," he added. Gilani said Pakistan was following a multi-pronged strategy to deal with extremism that entailed a combined effort of its political, administrative and military forces. He said the government would not only fight terrorism on the ground, but would work to eliminate the root causes of terrorism. The Prime Minister said the government would not negotiate with terrorists and would not let its territory be used as a sanctuary for attacks on its neighbours. He said due to repeated military interventions, democratic institutions could not take firm roots in the country, adding Benazir Bhutto's legacy for the strengthening of democracy and political reconciliation was a guiding principle in this regard.