ISLAMABAD- Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday said that democracy was the best system to combat terrorism, and urged the United States to support government's endeavours to improve its economy and living standard of the people. The premier expressed these views during his meetings with two separate delegations comprising US Senators and members of House of Representatives, who called on him at the PM House. The delegations comprised Senator Ben Nelson, Congressman Adam Schiff, Congressmen Allyson Schwarz Wayne Gilch and US Ambassador in Pakistan Anne W Patterson. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan valued its strategic relationship with the US and desired to further expand its cooperation in trade, investment, and economic and social sectors. He urged the US to provide greater market access to Pakistani products in the US. The Prime Minister termed terrorism a global phenomenon and a threat to humanity that had ruined economic development and global peace. The world community, he said, had to develop a collective approach to arrest the trend of terrorism and extremism by addressing its root causes. Gilani stressed the need for increased intelligence sharing between the two countries to address the issue effectively and urged the Senators to ensure early passage of legislation pertaining to the ROZs. The Prime Minister said his government, that is pursuing a three-pronged strategy against terrorism, would go for a political dialogue with moderate elements that have renounced war and laid down arms. Besides, he said, the government was focussing on economic uplift, empowerment of Tribal Areas through establishment of ROZs while continuing its campaign against extremists and terrorists.  Pakistan believed in a varying combination to eventually help achieve the common objective, he added. Recalling the recently held general election, Gilani said the people of Pakistan have given a clear mandate in favour of the moderate and democratic forces who formed coalition governments both at the centre and in the provinces which auger well for strengthening all state institutions and democracy. While appreciating Pakistan's efforts in countering extremism and terrorism, the members of the delegation said the relations of the United States with Pakistan and its people were very important, and expressed desire by the US for developing a stable and multifaceted relationship with Pakistan. The members of the delegation apprised the Prime Minister that there was ample opportunities to further expand their ties in economic, trade, defense and counter terrorism areas. They expressed the confidence that the US lawmakers would be keen to work with the democratic government in Pakistan. NNI adds: A group of visiting American lawmakers Tuesday said they were not in Pakistan to lobby for President Pervez Musharraf or for the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. "We are not lobbying for the President to either retain office or leave the office," Congressman Adam B Schiff told a group of journalists at an informal discussion. US Representative Allyson Y Schwarts also spoke in the question-answer session after they met President Musharraf, political leaders and members of the parliament. Asked about the impression that the US legislators are in Pakistan to lobby for the President and to oppose the restoration of the Chief Justice, Congressman Adam B Schiff said, "No. That is not. We certainly had been getting a feedback from the people we met on the subject but we are neutral." "But that is not really the focus of our meetings or our advocacy," the Congressmen said. To another question on the same issue, he said, "We are not here for lobbying for the chief justice. We are not here to lobby for the President. To a question about the American support to military dictators in Pakistan, he said, "We are mindful of the perception that many Pakistanis have and not without some reasons that the US has not been always consistent in our advocacy of democracy and are very mindful of that". He added, "We are very committed to democratic process here in Pakistan. We would like to see democracy here, indefinitely not one that will last period of years and be overthrown for period of years and restored after period of years". "We hope that this time goes down in Pakistani history as the time when democracy took firm roots never to be overthrown again, Mr Schiff said. Talking about his meetings in Pakistan, he said that the lawmakers talked about the importance of strong legislative branch of the government and it is important to have important to fell they are empowered. He said they shared their concern about terrorism, militancy, and that "how we can together be safe, the major economic issues facing across the world, for our community, how to go forward and share ideas as we are strong allies of the future". He said the US lawmakers had the opportunity to have direct conversation with members of parliament and that the discussions were very fruitful. The Congressman said they are aware of the judicial debate that is going on within the two major parties. "We certainly not here as part of any kind of part of efforts to influence the decision on the reinstatement or not reinstatement of the chief justice. We have heard a number of rumours. At one point, I heard a rumour that I am John Negroponte". Schiff said the lawmakers have no interest in decisions rather "our interest is in the democratic changes that are taking place here. I am here for constructive assistance and high interest in parliamentary system". "We speak for ourselves and democracy. I can say certainly that principles we emphasise in meetings and discussions, the importance of strong parliament provided effective check on the government that will do an oversight of the government that can bring in members of the government to testify before the parliament, and ask them tough questions, how were these expenditures going be made, what is involved in this budget. We had a lot of discussion about the military budget and make sure that there is parliamentary insight on the military budget".   To a question, he said the Congressmen met President Musharraf, party leaders and MPs, and "we discussed variety of things. Our primary focus had been on the democratic process and how we can partner with our colleagues in Pakistani parliament". He said they had extensive discussion on the struggle against terrorism and how that can be most effective and as "how can we better coordinate our efforts". He said they also discussed as what will be the impact of the some of the negotiations taking place right now in Pakistan, the effect on the cross border terrorism into Afghanistan. "These certainly have been subject of our discussions". "If you think that we have come here to urge either party to take a certain position on the president, "No". He said the president and all party leaders were very supportive and the President expressed his view of the role he is playing on the democratic transition, parliament and MPs different thinking but "we have received nothing but encouragement from the President but also from the party leaders and the parliamentarians in terms of working with them to strengthen democratic institutions". APP adds: US Congressmen lauded Pakistan's commitment to combating extremism in a meeting with President Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday and reaffirmed their support for the country's counter-terrorism efforts and social development goals. Two U.S. Congressional delegations, led by Senator Ben Nelson and Congressman Adam Schiff, called separately on the President in Rawalpindi.   "Pakistan-U.S. relations, counter-terrorism cooperation, domestic and regional developments were discussed during the meetings," a Foreign Office spokesman said in a statement.   President Musharraf said Pakistan attaches importance to Congressional support for the broadening and deepening of relations to the mutual benefit of the two countries. He highlighted Pakistan's contribution to the international counter-terrorism efforts, while underlining the importance of the government's comprehensive strategy which combined political, military, and socio-economic dimensions. The discussions also covered efforts to strengthen security along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. President Musharraf underlined importance of Congressional support for counter-terrorism initiatives of the government that included FATA Development Plan, capacity building of the Frontier Corps (FC) and establishment of the ROZs. The visiting Members of Congress conveyed their support for the important relationship between Pakistan and the United States. The Congressional delegation led by Senator Ben Nelson (Democrat-Nebraska) included Allen Boyd (Democrat-Florida) and Nick Lampson (Democrat-Florida). The delegation led by Congressman Adam Schiff (Democrat-California) comprised Allyson Schwartz (Democrat-Pennsylvania) and Wayne Gilchrest (Republican-Maryland).