The United States will go after high-value targets in Pakistan after consulting Islamabad but will not deploy ground troops in hot pursuit, President Barack Obama said Sunday as he warned the Islamic nation that the U.S. expects much more accountability in rooting out the steady creep of extremism there, media reports say.

If we have a high-value target within our sights, after consulting with Pakistan, we're going after them. But our main thrust has to be to help Pakistan defeat these extremists, he said without directly referring to the U.S. missile strikes in Pakistan's terrorist-infested tribal belt.

The president's comments came as he led a raft of American officials who fanned out Sunday talk shows to drum support for the new Af-Pak policy he unveiled Friday, and which strategists reckon is increasingly focused on a toxic and recalcitrant Pakistan.

Though Obama unambiguously maintained he did not intend to send ground troops into Pakistan, at least not overtly, with due respect to Pakistani sovereignty, he said Washington wants to hold Islamabad much more accountable by working with that country and through them to deal with al-Qaida.

The focus over the last seven years I think has been lost. What we want to do is to refocus attention on al-Qaida, he said in an apparent reference to policy of former President George Bush regime, which concentrated more on Iraq than Afghanistan.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com