30 Sep 2011

Pakistan rejects US pressure over militants

9:14 am on 30 September 2011

Pakistan's prime minister, Yusuf Raza Gilani, says he will not bow to pressure from the United States to step up the fight against militants.

He told a rare gathering of political and religious parties that relations with the US should be based on mutual respect, the BBC reports.

The US has accused Pakistan of supporting the Haqqani militant group in Afghanistan, which Pakistan denies.

US officials say they are close to deciding whether to label the group as a foreign terrorist organisation.

At the meeting in Islamabad, Mr Gilani said that Pakistan cannot be pressured to do more in the battle against militancy.

He said the blame game should end, and Pakistan's sensitive national interests should be respected.

The head of Pakistan's army and the ISI spy chief were also at the meeting.