WASHINGTON- Pakistan and the United States are strengthening their ties through wide-ranging cooperation in different fields.

This was stated by Pakistan's Envoy to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani while addressing a function in connection with Pakistan's Independence Day celebrations in Washington.

Former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar also spoke at the event.

While extending Pakistan Independence Day greetings to the gathering at Washington National Harbour, Ambassador Jilani noted that both Pakistan and the United States were proud of Pakistani-Americans for the important contributions they make to the development of both countries.

On internal and external challenges facing Pakistan, the diplomat said thirty years of war in Afghanistan has cast a deep shadow on Pakistan.

Despite challenges, Pakistan is focused on development of the country. Democracy is taking strong roots in Pakistan with a free media, a strong judiciary and all state institutions are working in accordance with the Constitution, he noted.

Islamabad is striving for improvement in the fields of education, energy, economy, and at the same time combating the menace of extremism.

The U.S. has been of tremendous help to Pakistan in making progress in these areas, he said. Referring to a major Pakistani army counterterrorism operation

Zarb-e-Azb underway in North Waziristan tribal area, Jilani said, Pakistan is confident of getting rid of terrorism.

 Pakistan and the United States have been cooperating very well in the areas of economy and defense, the seasoned Pakistani diplomat said. Ambassador Jilani appreciated former Senator Richard Lugar for his role in advancing Pakistan-U.S. relations and also praised APPNA for organizing the event on the Independence Day.

The participants celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day by singing national songs fervently, as the green and white flags fluttered and waved all over the place.