ISLAMABAD (APP) - Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday said any new grand political alliance would be good for the democracy and it would not pose any threat to his government. Talking to journalists at a function organised by the US Embassy to mark the 236th Independence Day celebrations of the United States, he said, in democracy, a strong opposition makes the government strong. To a question about moves of PML-N to form a grand alliance, he said any grand alliance of opposition, will not be a risk to the government. Prime Minister Gilani said strong opposition is a check on the government and helps in improving its performance. He said the PPP did not part its ways from MQM. We are friends and this friendship will continue, he added. Earlier, speaking at the function at the US Embassy on the occasion of Independence Day celebrations of the US, Gilani said friendly ties between Pakistan and the US would continue to grow through increased cooperation in diverse fields and greater people-to-people contacts. He said, All relationships go through challenging times. The real challenge is to convert them into opportunities for the mutual benefit of our two countries and people. This is the real test of the strength of any relationship. It is in this spirit that our two governments remain engaged in working together to further strengthen our ties, he added. On behalf of the people of Pakistan, the prime minister felicitated President Obama and the American people on the occasion of Independence Day of the United States. Premier Gilani said the values of freedom, democracy and human rights have inspired millions of people and scores of nations around the world; people have cherished, aspired for, and laid their lives to achieve these ideals. It is also a bond that unites our two nations. As we embarked on our own struggle for independence in the early decades of the last century, we too yearned to create a homeland where the values of democracy, of dignity and of equality of human beings would thrive and reign supreme, he added. Calling Pakistan and the US longstanding friends and allies, he said, We can draw inspiration and strength from the successes of a joint enterprise based on mutual respect and confidence. Pakistan-US relations are steeped in history, he said adding, As any two friends, we have had our ups and downs. The fact that we continue as partners is a testimony to the strength and resilience of our relationship. We have stood together through many challenges. He said the Pakistani people could never forget the large scale and immediate response of the US government and the American people to assist and provide relief to the victims of the devastating earthquake of 2005 and the worst floods in history that ravaged the country last year. Gilani said Pakistan today was a flourishing democracy notwithstanding the new challenges and threats, which endanger the stability of the entire region. Our people, however, are neither deterred nor intimidated by them. We remain steadfast in our resolve to root out the twin menaces of terrorism and extremism. Our democratic government in fact took ownership of this war and has united the entire nation to wipe out this scourge. Pakistan has suffered more than any other nation in this war, he said adding, Yet our commitment has been unwavering and our sacrifices unmatched.