We never broke our relations with the US: Pak

Pakistan on Thursday said it wants "normal and mutually beneficial" ties with Washington.

Islamabad: Underlining that it has never broken its relations with US, Pakistan on Thursday said it wants "normal and mutually beneficial" ties with Washington but the shape of future bilateral relationship will be decided by an ongoing parliamentary review ordered by the government.

"There is a mutual desire to have normal and mutually beneficial relations. We never broke our relations with the US. There is a problem and both sides are working to overcome the current difficulties in our bilateral relations," Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit said during a weekly news briefing.

"Everything hinges on the final policy guidelines we get from the parliament and we`re all waiting for the process to complete," he said in response to questions on the review that was ordered after a cross-border NATO air strike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

Recent visits to Islamabad by senior American civil and military officials were aimed at "discussing all the issues threadbare" and to see "how best we can address the present difficulties", Basit said.

Relations with the US would be strengthened after the completion of the parliamentary review, he said.

In response to questions, Basit said Pakistan had received an invitation to the Chicago Summit on Afghanistan but no decision had been made as yet on attending the meet.

Ties between Pakistan and the US have been rocked by a string of crises since early last year, including the killing of two Pakistani men by a CIA contractor in Lahore and the covert US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad.

Responding to a question on the troubled Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, Basit said there was no pressure from Saudi Arabia on Pakistan to abandon the venture.

Recent media reports had suggested that Saudi Arabia had offered financial aid and energy cooperation to get Pakistan to abandon the pipeline, which may face Western sanctions.

"Saudi Arabia is a brotherly country and we have very strong relations in all areas...There is no pressure from Saudi Arabia on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. Iran is also a brotherly country and...we consider both as friends and continue our relations with both independently," he said.