There are no plans to deploy US ground troops to Pakistan, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday, despite concerns over increasing violence between Pakistani troops and Taliban militants. Speaking to about 300 Marines at Camp Leatherneck in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, Gates assured them that they wouldn't be fighting in the neighboring sovereign nation. During a 12-minute question-and-answer session in sweltering heat, Gates told a sergeant he didn't have to "worry about going to Pakistan." Pakistan's military continued fighting Taliban guerrillas in the Swat Valley on Thursday. On Wednesday, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari appealed to President Barack Obama for more help reversing the extension of Taliban-held territory to within 60 miles of the capital, Islamabad.