ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday said that Pakistan wanted relations with the United States on equality basis as a sovereign country.

Speaking to Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who briefed him about his visit to the US here, PM Khan said Pakistan and the US needed each other to move forward.

Officials told The Nation that the PM was satisfied with FM Qureshi’s meetings with the US leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. “The PM believes that the situation is not too bad and Pak-US relationship can still be revived,” said a close aide of the premier.

An official statement said the Foreign Minister apprised Prime Minister Imran Khan about his participation at the UN General Assembly session in New York where he represented the country and held important meetings on the sidelines.

FM Qureshi also updated the Prime Minister about his visit to Washington and his meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, it added.

Last day, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal said Pakistan’s relations with the US were on a positive trajectory.

Faisal said during Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s interaction with delegates of different countries, he put across Pakistan’s point of view on important issues. He emphasised that bringing Afghan Taliban to negotiating table was collective responsibility of all countries.

About the controversy regarding Qureshi’s interaction with US President Donald Trump, he said: “President Trump welcomed the Foreign Minister at the reception and they had a brief discussion.  It was a very positive development.”

This week, Pakistan and the United States agreed to move forward as Foreign Minister Qureshi met US National Security Advisor John Bolton and his American counterpart Mike Pompeo.

In the meetings, Qureshi tried to convince the US leaders that Pak-US cooperation was vital for regional peace in South Asia. There was agreement from the US on the Pak-US cooperation but Washington persisted with its demand of more efforts by Islamabad and “fair play.”

Qureshi and Pompeo first met in Islamabad early in September, when the US government approached the new Pakistani government to discuss key issues that have strained decades-old ties between the two countries.

In a briefing about his earlier meeting, Pompeo said that following the election of Prime Minister Imran Khan in July, the US “wanted to get out there at the beginning of his time in an effort to reset the relationship between the two countries”.

Earlier, the US military said it has made a decision to cancel $300 million in aid to Pakistan that had been suspended over Islamabad’s perceived failure to take decisive action against militants.

The so-called Coalition Support Funds were part of a broader suspension in aid to Pakistan announced by President Trump at the start of the year, when he accused Pakistan of rewarding past assistance with “nothing but lies and deceit.”

The Trump administration alleged Islamabad was granting safe haven to insurgents who are waging a 17-year-old war in neighboring Afghanistan, a charge Pakistan denies.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, in particular, had an opportunity to authorize $ 300 million in CSF funds through this summer - if he saw concrete Pakistani actions to go after insurgents, but he chose not to do so.

This week, Pakistan pledged to support negotiations with the Taliban to end Afghanistan’s 17-year war and asked the US to restore military aid.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he found Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “ready to listen” to Pakistan and said he was returning to Islamabad “slightly more hopeful” than before.

The US has pressed for years for Pakistan to crack down on militant groups involved in Afghanistan. The US alleges the insurgents have safe havens in Pakistan’s border areas, accusations which Islamabad has repeatedly denied.

Senior officials at the foreign ministry told The Nation that the US had linked restoration of aid to Pakistan’s ‘performance’ in Afghanistan.

One official said: “If we deliver for them in Afghanistan, they are most likely to restore the aid. There might be some other concessions too if we fulfill their demands.”

Another official said Pakistan had always insisted that the Afghanistan issue could only be resolved through dialogue. “We will provide help to facilitate the dialogue process for Afghanistan peace. This is a longstanding offer from Pakistan. The US wants to see some ‘visible’ evidence on Afghanistan cooperation,” he added.