WASHINGTON - President-elect Barack Obama on Sunday vowed to build a 'close effective' strategic partnership with Pakistan as a way to curb violent extremism as he underscored that the United States cannot afford to look at Afghanistan in isolation but as part of a 'regional problem including Pakistan, India, Kashmir and Iran'. In an interview with NBC News Channel, Obama welcomed President Asif Ali Zardari's recognition of the challenge and noted that the Pakistani leader has sent the right signals to the world in addressing the menace. "We cannot continue to look at Afghanistan in isolation, we have to look at it as part of a regional problem that includes Pakistan, includes India, Kashmir and Iran. "And part of the kind of foreign policy, I want to shape is one in which we have tough diplomacy combined with more effective military operations focused on what is the number one threat against US interests - Al-Qaeda and their affiliates - and we are going to go after them in the years to come." Asked specifically about his approach to Pakistan in the context of Islamabad's emphatic calls to end unilateral drone strikes against suspected militant targets on its side of the border, the President-elect said: "What I want to do is to create the kind of effective strategic partnership with Pakistan that allows us, in consort, to assure that terrorists are not setting up safe havens in some of these border regions between Pakistan and Afghanistan. "So far, President Zardari has sent the right signals. He has indicated he recognises that this is not just a threat to the United States but it is a threat to Pakistan as well." At the same time, Obama reminded that Pakistan has also been a victim of terrorism. "There was a bombing in Pakistan just yesterday (in Peshawar) that killed scores of people. And you are seeing greater and greater terrorist activity inside Pakistan. "I think this democratically-elected government (of Pakistan) understands that threat. I hope that in the coming months we are going to establish the kind of close effective working relationship that makes both countries safer." Questioned about India's right to hit militant targets on the Pakistani soil, Obama said: "I'm not going to comment on that. What I'm going to restate is a basic principle - number one, if a country is attacked, it has the right to defend itself, I think that is universally acknowledged. "The second thing is, we need a strategic partnership with all the parties in the region, Pakistan, India and the Afghan government to stand up the kind of militant, violent extremists that have set up base camps and that are operating in ways that threaten the security of everybody in international community." On the possibility of appointment of a high-level US envoy on South Asia under his administration, Obama said: "My first job is to make sure that my core nationals security team - (Secretary of Sate) Hillary Clinton, (National Security Adviser) James Jones, (Defence Secretary) Robert Gates, (US envoy to UN) Susan Rice - that my intelligence folks, we come up with a comprehensive strategy. "I have enormous confidence in Senator (Hillary) Clinton's ability to rebuild alliances and to send a strong signal that we are going to do business differently and place an emphasis on diplomacy." Monitoring Desk adds: In the interview, Obama said that US wants resolution of the Kashmir issue between Pakistan and India. He said that Pakistan and India should have better ties to resolve their issues including Kashmir dispute, a private TV channel reported. Agencies add: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Sunday opposed the notion of Indian unilateral strikes against any militant targets on the Pakistani soil in the wake of Mumbai incident, saying New Delhi should avoid anything that may worsen the South Asian situation. In interviews with Fox News, CNN and ABC television channels, the US diplomat, instead, advocated that the focus should be on getting perpetrators and staving off any future attacks. She said that Pakistan must act quickly to arrest suspects linked to the deadly attacks in India to help ensure there are no follow-on assaults. "They (Pakistan) must act in concert with India, with the US. Great Britain is helping," she said, adding that Pakistan expressed "a good, strong commitment" to take action. "But now we have to see follow-through," she said. Rice doubted Pakistani officials had a role in the November 26 attacks in Mumbai. Rice did not describe the evidence but said the US had passed information about the attacks to both India and Pakistan. The US diplomat denied that Washington and Delhi had set a 48-hour deadline to Pakistan to act against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), but said Washington's relationship with Islamabad hinged on its response to the Mumbai terror attack. She also did not back New Delhi's demand to hand over any suspects caught by Pakistan and instead said the objective should be to bring perpetrators to justice. Rice, who travelled to the region this week as part of efforts to ease tensions between the two nuclear nations, told FOX News Sunday that she also believed that the Pakistani government very much wanted to do the right thing as its leaders understand their responsibility. "Well, I think they should not do anything that will make the situation worse," she said when asked about Washington's position on India taking any unilateral action. "When it comes to something like this it is important not to take steps that will make the situation worse. The regional circumstances here are such that any response should be focused on getting the perpetrators and making sure that follow on attacks don't happen. And I emphasized that to the Indian government." Rice added she "did not hear a lot of bellicose talk between, by the Indian leaders or with Pakistani leaders. This is a relationship between India and Pakistan that has improved. And they are trying to build on that. But India expects Pakistan to act, and so does the United States." The US diplomat also did not back New Delhi's demand to hand over any suspects Pakistan captures and instead underscored that the emphasis should be on bringing perpetrators to justice. "The important thing is that Pakistan act and that these people are brought to justice and that any information that they may have is put to use in making sure follow-on attacks don't happen," Rice said. "And, therefore, it is very important these people be arrested. The investigation is still ongoing and Pakistan needs to cooperate transparently, they've said they will," she stated when asked if she supported that any suspects caught by Pakistan be handed over to India for trial. Refuting reports that a deadline was set by India and the US to act against LT, Rice said no such time frame was fixed. "No," Rice said when asked on 'Fox News Sunday' if such a deadline was issued to Islamabad. "There is no time table involved here. Obviously, this is a counter-terrorism work. It is hard work. And it's not as if these people are sitting on the surface. "But the leaders in Pakistan were very clear with me that they understood their responsibilities and now we are waiting. We expect things to happen," she replied when questioned if there was a 48-hour timetable for Pakistan to act against any suspects on its soil. Asked about a news report that she had asked Pakistan to arrest its former intelligence chief, Rice said she didn't "want to get too detailed about this". "And, obviously, I don't want to tip their hand or ours." Asking Pakistan to extend "full and complete cooperation" into the probe of the carnage, that also killed six Americans, Rice said it was a matter of "our relationship". "I have made very clear - Americans also died in the attack - that the US expects the full and complete cooperation of Pakistan and Pakistani action. And yes, it is a matter for our relationship. It is a very serious matter that Americans were killed in the attack as well," she said. "I made it very clear to the Pakistanis that... when something like this happens, the US expects Pakistan to act," se stated. Rice believed the gunmen who staged the assault were "non-state actors," but Pakistan still should cooperate in the investigation. She said US-Pakistan relations were at stake as well as Islamabad's ties with India. "I think there is no doubt that Pakistani territory was used by probably non-state actors. I don't think that there is compelling evidence of involvement of Pakistani officials," Rice said. "But I do think that Pakistan has a responsibility to act," she said. "I did say to the Pakistanis that the argument that these are non-state actors is not acceptable," Rice said. "Non-state actors in your territory are still your responsibility." She said she offered to share with the Indian authorities what the US had learned since the September 11, 2001 attacks about how to prevent attacks. "I think they are going to accept that," Rice said after saying that prevention had not been at the core of Indian anti-terrorism efforts. Rice declined to say on ABC whether Pakistan should extradite 20 people to India. "I think the important thing is that Pakistan act and that these people are brought to justice," Rice said.