"Pakistan has been a steadfast ally in the war on terror, and we deeply appreciate and express our sympathy to the families of the Pakistani soldiers who have died in this war on terror, and many hundreds have died," Secretary Gates said.
He made the remarks at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington at a ceremony to mark 'the Defense of Pakistan Day.'
Secretary Gates also lauded the cooperation between U.S. and Pakistani armed forces, particularly their joint efforts to secure the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region from terrorist activities by Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants.
"We know that there are nearly a hundred thousand soldiers in the frontier area, and we appreciate this cooperation," said Secretary Gates, referring to the large number of Pakistan army troops deployed along the rugged Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. "We deeply appreciate our partnership with President Musharraf and his contribution, working with us in this war on terror."
Geo TV, VOA's affiliate station in Pakistan, aired the interview with Secretary Gates today. Geo airs VOA's Beyond the Headlines (Khabron Se Aage), a 30-minute television news program, Monday through Friday. For more information, or to view programs online, please visit the VOA Urdu web page at www.VOANews.com/Urdu.
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