QUETTA - Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday described Pakistan’s relations with the US as ‘multi-dimensional and important’ but said the nature of these ties would be determined on the basis of the country’s national interests.“We are trying to have an open, transparent, and mutually beneficial relationship with the US based on our national interests,” Gilani noted while addressing the audience at the Command and Staff College Quetta, which also included Chief of the Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.The prime minister further said his government had improved the country’s relations with all its neighbours, including Afghanistan, India and Iran.During his address, Gilani also referred to the security situation in Afghanistan and made it clear that Pakistan had an important role to play in the region and it should be taken on board in the decision-making process about the future of the war-ravaged country.“Pakistan is facing multifaceted challenges including security and terrorism,” Gilani said, adding that national security topped the government priorities.He claimed that no other country could match the role of Pakistan in sacrifices as thousands of Pakistani soldiers had laid down their lives in the war for national and global security.“I have firm a belief that the sacrifices of people would provide durable peace to our coming generations,” Gilani added.With reference to relations with the world community, Gilani said socioeconomic sector and security were interconnected. “We are strongly integrated to global trade and politics,” he remarked.Talking about the petroleum products’ prices, he said economic development and national stability were correlative and the petroleum products’ prices had affected many countries, including Pakistan, adding that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sanctioned loans on the condition of raising electricity tariff. He said all the resources would be utilised for the people but the state institutions must work together for public welfare.He said amidst unprecedented challenges, the government was committed to protect and to perpetuate the integrity of democracy.“For this we must muster the spirit that guided our independence struggle, and the faith of our founding fathers.”He said economic development and national security go hand-in-hand and referred to events of the past few years that impacted Pakistan enormously.Gilani said despite enormous economic challenges, the government did not ignore the needs of addressing security requirements.Citing the devastating flood in 2010, Gilani said the natural calamity inflicted Rs 10 billion losses to the national economy.The prime minister rejected the notion that democracy, as a form of government, is slow to deliver and the democratic institutions take more time to find solutions to people’s problems. He said nothing could be further to the truth. “We have had long periods of non-democratic governments and yet when we look at the balance sheet of our political history, only democratically elected governments have provided constitutional, political, economic, and security solutions that have stood the test of time.”He said as nations prospered under democracies, so do they thrived in the strength of their democratic institutions. “Parliament, executive, and judiciary, all have to work well within their given domains for the achievement of people’s will.”He said the government had been in the forefront of repairing damaged federal-provincial relationships and resolving the grievances and sense of disappointment prevailing amongst the provinces. It introduced, and implemented, nearly 90 per cent of Aghaz-e-Haqooq Balochistan package which was helping alleviate the social and economic gaps that prevailed earlier.However, Gilani acknowledged that healing process takes time. He said the government had opened the engagement with Baloch leadership across all shades, and hoped to bring them into the mainstream politics.He said the Balochistan chief secretary had been directed to identify 35,000 graduates so that they could be give jobs.Gilani said during the last four years, the government spent about Rs 2.2 trillion on development. The Karachi Stock Exchange volume had increased from 7.8 billion dollars in 2008 to around 13 billion dollars this year, while foreign exchange reserves stood at 16.3 billion dollars and exports last year reached to a historic peak of 25 billion dollars, adding that the government was maintaining the tempo despite global recessionary trend and euro zone crisis.Gilani said the government was pursuing a political and economic agenda for poverty alleviation through cash support and skill development, for fiscal responsibility and good governance, energy sector reforms, political pluralism and national ownership of Pakistan’s security strategy.