Obama calls Pakistan's Sharif, congratulates him on poll win

Washington: US President Barack Obama called PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, set to become Pakistan's next Prime Minister, to congratulate him on his election victory and pledge to further strengthen friendly ties with Islamabad.

"Today, the President spoke by phone with Nawaz Sharif, president of Pakistan Muslim League's (Nawaz) to congratulate him on his party's success in the May 11 parliamentary election," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

"The US and Pakistan have a long history of working together on mutual interests, and this administration looks forward to continuing our cooperation with the Pakistani government that emerges from this election as equal partners in supporting a more stable, secure and prosperous future for the people of Pakistan," Carney said.

Carney said Obama commended the people of Pakistan on the successful completion of their parliamentary elections.

 Obama calls Pakistans Sharif, congratulates him on poll win

Nawaz Sharif after the win. AP

"The US stands with all Pakistanis in welcoming this historic, peaceful and transparent transfer of civilian power, which is a significant milestone in Pakistan's democratic progress," he said.

"It really is important to note the significance of consecutive democratic elections and the transfer of civilian power from one government to the next," Carney said giving readout of the telephone call between the two leaders.

Yesterday, US Secretary of State John Kerry had spoken to Sharif.

Sharif's PML-N has emerged as the single largest party in the May 11 general elections with 123 of the 272 Parliamentary seats but fell short of a majority and would form a government with support of independents and smaller parties.

The White House said Obama also hailed the historic transfer of power between two civilian governments, a significant milestone in Pakistan's democracy.

"Obama praised the extraordinary voter turnout and courage that Pakistanis displayed in the face of intimidation by violent extremists, which was an inspiration to all who support democracy around the globe," the statement said.

"The two leaders agreed to continue to work together to strengthen US-Pakistan relations and advance our shared interest of a stable, secure, and prosperous Pakistan and region," the White House said.

PTI

Updated Date: May 15, 2013 08:15:51 IST