US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte has dismissed suggestions that his visit to Pakistan is aimed at dictating anti-terrorism policies to the new Pakistani government.
During his stop in Karachi Thursday, Negroponte said he has no hidden agenda and no desire to interfere in Pakistan's internal affairs.
He said the US-Pakistan partnership remains strong, and that Washington envisions a continued close and productive alliance that benefits both countries.
Negroponte added that the United States is committed to working with all of Pakistan's leaders on the full spectrum of bilateral issues -- from fighting extremism to improving educational and economic opportunities.
He and US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher arrived in Pakistan Tuesday, shortly before Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was sworn in to office.
The timing of the visit has outraged many Pakistanis, with newspapers saying the US envoys should not be visiting the country while its new leaders are still working out their policies.
Negroponte also rejected a report in the "Washington Post" newspaper that US forces have recently escalated air strikes against al-Qaida targets in Pakistan's tribal areas. He said Washington only acts against militants in cooperation with Pakistani authorities.
The US diplomat stressed Washington does not believe in talking to militants who cannot be persuaded to renounce violence. But he also said some elements among the militants could be persuaded to join the political process.