Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has asserted that Pakistan is a powerful country and fully capable of safeguarding its vital national interests. Addressing a press conference in Lahore, Gilani said safeguarding national interest was of supreme importance for his government.

He said Pakistan wanted to maintain friendly relations with the US on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interest without compromising on each other's national interests, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

Ties between Washington and Islamabad were hit after US undercover agent Raymond Davis fatally shot two Pakistanis in Lahore in February.

The ties were further strained after the May 2 killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad by US commandos.

Gilani said: 'We have explained to the US government that if it is answerable to Congress, then we are equally accountable to parliament.'

The Prime Minister added that Pakistan's intelligence agencies and the Central Intelligence Agency of US were working in close liaison with each other.