NEW YORK - A Pakistani expert on the Pak-Afghan region has urged Pakistan's top leadership to come out of their seclusion and visit the areas that have been cleared of Taliban militants so as to boost the morale of the people living there. The country's leaders have avoided visiting Swat and other such areas in the north-west, citing security concerns, Imtiaz Gul, who has written extensively on the friontier region, said at a meeting in Asia Society on Tuesday evening. He told the audience that some development projects in the areas where the government has now established its writ are being inaugurated from air-conditioned residences of top political leaders in Islamabad and other cities. Gul said that three elected members of the National Assembly were invited to a seminar in Swat, but none turned up, citing security reasons. How would the people living there have the confidence to continue to fight the extremeists if the country's leaders was so afraid of them, he asked. Imtiaz Gul, who is in the United States for the launch of his book "The Most Dangerous Place - Pakistan's Lawless Frontier," and Hassan Abbas, an analysts and commentators who is close to President Asis Ali Zardari, spoke at the Asia Society about the situation in the region. Both said that the government was too week to weak to handle the threat posed by the extremists and urged the U.S. to forge a sustained partnership with Pakistan for durable peace, security and development in a bid to eliminate them. They also stressed the importance of strong governance in both Pakistan and Afghanistan as a way to enforce rule of law and marginalize the militants. Imtiaz Gul said the United States has always treated Pakistan as a "project" not as a "partner"-- once Washington's objectives in that region were achieved, it just walked away. Pakistan, he said, needs cooperation for economic and social development. Hassan Abbas, who is a fellow at the Asia Society's New York headquarters and the Quaid-e-Azam Chair Professor at Columbia University's South Asia Institute, said over the years the United States only strengthened Pakistan's military through the sale of F-16's and other hardware and doing virtually nothing to strengthen the country's democratic institutions. Both acknowledged there were anti-American feelings in Pakistan for a variety of political and economic reasons, including the increasing drone attacks that resulted in large number of civilian casualties and violated the country's sovereignty. "For every five terrorists killed, you create 50 more terrorists," Abbas said, adding that the policy was counterproductive. In this regard, Gul also referred to the perception that the U.S. was against Islam and it's lack of concern for the plight of the Palestinians. Gul also said that a large number of girl schools were blown up in Swat and tribal areas by the militants, but because the government lacked resource, the rebuilding process was slow. Funding was required on urged basis for full resumption of education. There was also a need for creating a sense of ownership in those areas. Noting that there was some improvement in the funding for police training, Abbas, a former senior police official, said more needed to be done in this regard. Strengthened intelligence was the need of the hour as efective law enforcement could break the back of he militants' campaign in Pakistan. Abbas also denounced as "nonsense" the recent Matt Waldman's report published London School of Economics claiming that President Asif Ali Zardari met some Afghan Taliban prisoners at a secret location and assured them of his support and their subsequent release. Imtiaz Gul said that the the extremists were in minority and most people do not subscribe to their ideology. They drew support only through terror tactics by murdering and plundering their opponents, he added.