Will determine US ties on national interest: Gilani

Pakistan`s ties with US will be determined on the basis of Islamabad`s national interests, PM Yousuf Raza Gilani said.

Islamabad: Pakistan`s relations with the US are "multi-dimensional and important" but the ties will be determined on the basis of Islamabad`s national interests, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Monday against the backdrop of growing strains between the two countries.

"We are trying to have an open, transparent, and mutually beneficial relationship with the US based on our national interests," he said.

Gilani made the remarks during an address at the army`s Command and Staff College in Quetta.
Addressing a gathering that included army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Gilani further said that his government had improved the country`s relations with all its neighbours, including Afghanistan, India and Iran.

Pakistan-US ties plunged to an all-time low after a cross-border NATO air strike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November last year.

Pakistan closed NATO supply lines to Afghanistan after the attack and demanded an apology from the US.

Over the past few weeks, strains between the two countries have increased as the US has continued its campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan`s tribal belt despite strong protests from Islamabad.

CIA-operated drones have struck eight times since the NATO Summit in Chicago, where Pakistan did not make any announcement about ending the six-month blockade of NATO supply lines.

During his address, Gilani also referred to the security situation in neighbouring Afghanistan.
He made it clear that Pakistan had an "important role to play in the region and it should be taken on board on the decision-making process about the future of Afghanistan".