ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday told his cabinet members that Pakistan was willing to work with the United States without compromising on the country’s sovereignty.

Chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet here, Abbasi - quoted by a minister - said that the Pak-US ties were not at a dead-end and the two countries would continue engagement at the high level.

The minister who attended the meeting told The Nation, that Abbasi believed the two countries would have to “give and take” to improve the trust level and continue partnership in the future.

This week, the US asked Pakistan to accept President Donald Trump’s new Afghanistan policy – with a greater role for India.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who visited Pakistan, made it clear to Pakistan’s civil and military leadership that his country would not change its Afghan policy on Islamabad’s demand.

The top US envoy faced Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammed Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Defence Minister Khurram-Dastgir Khan, Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Naveed Mukhtar, secretary to PM Mussadiq Malik, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and other officials on one table as he led his own delegation. The minister said that Abbasi was confident that the US would understand Pakistan’s position and would not stretch Islamabad to the limit.

“The cabinet members supported the PM and vowed to protect the country’s integrity and sovereignty,” he added.

The minister said Abbasi also referred to Pak-Saudi Arabia ties and pledged to make all efforts to enhance the relationship further.

An official statement issued after the meeting said Imam-e-Ka’aba Dr Saleh bin Humaid was invited to the opening session of the cabinet meeting as a special guest.

Before the start of formal proceedings of the cabinet meeting, Imam-e-Ka’aba in his remarks thanked the prime minister for inviting him to address the cabinet, said the statement.

In his remarks, the Imam-e-Ka’aba said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia shared historical and strong brotherly bonds. He emphasised the need for unity, adding the best decisions were made for the benefit of the people.

Imam-e-Ka’aba also conveyed good wishes to the cabinet and the people of Pakistan on behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, religious scholars and the people of Saudi Arabia. Later in the formal proceedings, the cabinet ratified recommendations of the Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases in its meeting held on October 16th.

The cabinet unanimously approved the administrative separation of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) and the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU).

Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazl Chaudhry briefed the meeting on the proposed bill.

The minister said that the name of the SZABMU would not be changed.

The cabinet decided to place the De-limitation Bill before the National Assembly for debate and consideration. Earlier, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics gave a presentation to the cabinet on Census 2017.

The cabinet approved establishment of the drug court at Quetta and appointment of Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar as judge Special Appellate Court under Section 46(1) of the Prevention of Smuggling Act, 1977 in the Province of Sindh.

Appointment of secretary Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication as chairman of Management Board of the National Telecommunication Corporation was approved by the meeting. The cabinet also assented to the re-constitution of the board of governors of the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC).

The cabinet accorded ex-post facto approval to initiate negotiations and for signing of an agreement on Scientific Exchange and Cooperation between the PARC and Lanzhou University, China.

Amendments in the Rules of Origin under Malaysia – Pakistan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement were also approved by the cabinet. The meeting approved signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Mozambique and Pakistan in the defence domain.

The cabinet accorded approval to sign Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income between Pakistan and Bulgaria.

The meeting also approved extension in deputation period of Bebu Ram, deputy chief engineer, Sui Southern Gas Company Limited, Karachi.