In a blunt message to Pakistan, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on Friday, demanded greater cooperation to help squeeze the Haqqani network responsible for attacks in Afghanistan, saying Islamabad could not keep snakes in its backyard to strike its neighbours.

It's like that old story -- you can't keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours. Eventually those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard, Clinton said, during a joint news conference with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, according to a report in The Washington Post.

We asked very specifically for greater cooperation from the Pakistani side to squeeze the Haqqani network and other terrorists because we know that trying to eliminate terrorists and safe havens on one side of the border is not going to work, she said.

Clinton arrived in Islamabad on Thursday with a high-level delegation that included Central Intelligence Agency Director, David Petraeus, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Martin Dempsey.

We should be able to agree that for too long extremists have been able to operate here in Pakistan and from Pakistani soil. No one who targets innocent civilians, whether they be Pakistanis, Afghans, Americans or anyone else should be tolerated or protected, said Clinton at the conference.

In evolving any future strategy, the government will be guided by the All Parties Conference resolution, which calls on the government to give peace a chance, she added, referring to the document that called for dialogue to end unrest in Pakistan's northwest.

Clinton also sought to address Pakistani concerns about Afghanistan-based militants launching attacks on Pakistani border villages and check posts. According to her, Afghani and U.S. forces had launched an operation against Haqqani operatives, resulting in killing or capture of many dozens, if not hundreds of militants.