WASHINGTON -  Pakistan is looking forward to working "closely" with the incoming US administration of President-elect Donald Trump and wants bilateral relations to be between the two countries further strengthened, Tariq Fatemi, special assistant to the prime minister on foreign affairs, has said.

Fatemi, who is in Washington, is holding informal meetings with Obama administration officials, and will meet on Tuesday “friends and well-wishers” tied to Trump’s transition team in New York, as part of an early outreach to establish links with the Trump administration, which assumes charge on January 20.

In an interaction with media men on Monday, Fatemi said Pakistan would look forward to meaningful engagement with the US after Trump takes over in order to further improve bilateral relations - both in the context of regional and international issues.

He played down Trump’s comments regarding Muslims during the rough-and-tumble of the campaign, including the need for “extreme vetting” of immigrants from heavily Islamic countries such as Pakistan, during a reporters’ roundtable at the Pakistan embassy in Washington.

“I have some experience in what [American] campaign rhetoric is,” Fatemi said, noting his experience serving as a senior Pakistani diplomat to the US going back to the Nixon administration.

The stance being taken by Trump and his national security adviser nominee, former General Mike Flynn, on the need to confront “radical Islamic terrorism” will not interfere with the “confluence of interests” and mutual goals of the United States and Pakistan, he added.

Trump’s early interactions with Pakistan got an unusual airing when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government made public a readout of his congratulatory phone call to the president-elect in which Trump reportedly spoke about the “fantastic” Pakistani people and underlined the “tremendous opportunities” between Washington and Islamabad both regionally and globally, and said his administration would be “ready and willing to play any role you want me to play” in addressing the “outstanding problems” facing Islamabad.

Fatemi declined to comment on whether Trump’s offer indicated the incoming administration would be willing to strengthen its ties to Islamabad, at the expense of Washington’s relationship with India. Some of Trump’s advisers have also said the Pakistanis are reading more into Trump’s comments than was justified.

The phone call certainly “created interest and excitement” within US political and diplomatic circles regarding the heightened tensions between Pakistan and India, he said, adding “we are in no way disappointed” in that result. According to media reports, PM Sharif is even weighing a trip to Washington next month to attend Mr Trump’s inauguration, although the trip hasn’t been confirmed.

“This is a fresh opportunity to burnish [Pakistan’s] credentials” as a strong Muslim democracy and US ally in South Asia to achieve both countries’ “bilateral, regional and global” national security and foreign policy goals, the aide said.

Fatemi stressed that Pakistan could play a significant role in promoting peace and stability not only in Afghanistan, but to the entire region. Pakistan has confluence of interests with USA and there was a solid track record of US and Pakistan working together over seven decades to promote regional peace and stability.

Responding to a question, Fatemi narrated that Pakistan had lost approximately 5,000 army personnel in counter terrorism campaign.

Fatemi also underlined the need for a sustained dialogue process between Pakistan and India to resolve their long-standing differences including issue of Kashmir. He briefed the journalists about the widespread and homegrown uprising in Indian-occupied Kashmir which the Indian government was trying to suppress by force and with massive human rights violations. Over 16,000 Kashmiris have been injured and approximately 600 blinded by using special kind of guns known as Pellet Guns, aimed at damaging the eyesight of innocent Kashmiris. In addition, the number of ceasefire violations have increased during recent months. Moreover, these violations are targeted at innocent civilians which amounts to a war crime.

He emphasised that Pakistan had made remarkable progress over the last three years. Since the current government assumed power in June 2013, a new chapter began in Pak-US relations. The strategic dialogue between the two countries was resumed and its agenda broadened.

Fatemi gave a detailed account of the progress Pakistan has made after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif government assumed power. He said all state institutions were working in sync with each other in the country. Pakistan had already made remarkable all-round progress on economic front particularly in overcoming the energy crises. Marked improvement in law and order situation in Karachi was clearly visible in the unprecedented performance of the Pakistan Stock Exchange which had been appreciated widely around the globe.

Pakistan would be forthcoming in cooperating with new Administration in the US, in achieving peace in Afghanistan and improving Pak-India relationship for the sake of peace in the region, Fatemi added.

Earlier, Fatemi met Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department. Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani accompanied him.

Conveying the message of goodwill from the prime minister and the people of Pakistan on the recently held elections, Fatemi expressed the hope that after the completion of ongoing transition process, the two sides would resume their regular engagement on the bilateral track, according to a Pakistan Embassy press release.

"In a candid review of the relationship during the meeting, the two sides expressed satisfaction on several achievements in areas of peace and security, counter terrorism, defence and economic cooperation," the press release said. They agreed that Pak-US relationship was important to regional as well as global peace and security and should continue to be strengthened under the next administration.

The deputy secretary appreciated Pakistan's efforts to promote peace and stability in the region, it said. Pakistan's participation in the Heart of Asia Conference on Afghanistan, held in Amritsar on December 4 and its earlier pledge at the Brussels Conference to provide $500 million for development projects in Afghanistan were seen as concrete and positive steps reflecting Pakistan's commitment to peace and prosperity of its western neighbour.

The deputy secretary admired the generosity of Pakistan in hosting millions of Afghan refugees for over four decades and expressed appreciation on the recent decision to extend the deadline for the repatriation of these refugees, according to the press release.

The regional situation including the escalation across the Line of Control and the Working Boundary were also discussed during the meeting. Fatemi briefed the deputy secretary on the frequency of ceasefire violations by India in recent weeks with particular reference to targeting of civilians across the Line of Control in the disputed Kashmir region.

He also pointed out that the massive and systematic human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir were resulting in hundreds of casualties and debilitating injuries to the civilians including women and children.

While expressing concern on the increasing escalation at the LoC, Blinken reiterated the US position on the need for reducing tension in South Asia and promoting closer cooperation and dialogue between the two largest countries of the region.