Obama: Pakistan can win war against extremists

President Obama said the country can win a war against extremists who are attempting to "disrupt the country" in an interview with a Pakistani media outlet published Sunday.

The interview with Dawn is the first a president has ever given to a Pakistan news outlet, Dawn said. Obama said he supports Pakistan's decision to ramp up its offensive against extremists in the country.

"There's been a decision that's made that we support, that the Pakistani military and the Pakistani government will not stand by idly as extremists attempt to disrupt the country," Obama said.

He added: "I have confidence in the Pakistani people and the Pakistani state in resolving differences through a democratic process and to isolate extremists."

Obama also said that "nobody can or should push the Pakistani government."

The president also commented on the continued unrest in Iran following the June 12 election.

"To see hundreds of thousands of people in peaceful protest against an election that obviously raised a lot of doubts tells us that this is an issue that the Iranian people care deeply about," he said.

Obama, who has been careful not to be viewed as "meddling" in the election, also dismissed a statement by Ayatollah Khamenei that the U.S. is interfering in the election.

"It's unfortunate that there are some inside Iran and inside that government that want to use the West and the United States as an excuse," Obama said.

But Obama stood by dissenters' peaceful demonstrations and called on the international community to do the same.

"I hope that the international community recognises that we need to stand behind peaceful protests and be opposed to violence or repression," he said.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com