ISLAMABAD: Afghan president Hamid Karzai was the first to officially invite newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to visit Afghanistan.
President Karzai on Thursday telephoned the PM and felicitated him on his assumption of office.
Karzai also extended an invitation to Nawaz to visit Afghanistan, the first invitation for the PM from any head of state as of yet.
The prime minister accepted the invitation and thanked the Afghan president for inviting him. Nawaz said he was looking forward to visiting Afghanistan.
Earlier, while talking to the PM, Karzai extended his best wishes and expressed the hope that both the brotherly countries will continue to work for further improvement in the bilateral relations, which would bode well for peace and stability in the region.
Karzai also commended the democratic transition of power in Pakistan after the general elections.
Sources privy to the conversation told The Express Tribune that both the leaders discussed important issues pertaining to bilateral ties and trilateral ties with the United States (US). US troops’ 2014 withdrawal and Pakistan’s new foreign policy towards dialogue with the Taliban were the focal points of the conversation.
Karzai lauded the role Nawaz played in bridging gaps between the two countries and for supporting the settlement process in Afghanistan.
During Karzai’s last visit to Pakistan back in June 2011, both the leaders were supposes to have a meeting but it was cancelled due to unspecified reasons.
Iran felicitates Nawaz
On Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also felicitated the newly elected PM and the people of Pakistan on successful elections.
President Ahmadinejad expressed confidence that relations between the two brotherly countries would flourish under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Sources said that later during a telephonic conversation with the Iranian president, which was not publicised, Ahmadinejad hoped for the timely completion of the Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline project. “The president (Ahmadinejad) with anticipation expressed his resolve to go a long way with the democratically elected incoming government and hoped for the timely completion of in-process mega projects including Pak-Iran gas pipeline without considering any pressure.”
In a separate message, Speaker of the Iran's Consultative Assembly Ali Larijani, congratulated Nawaz Sharif and stated that the transfer of power to PML-N was indicative of high confidence reposed by the people of Pakistan in Nawaz and his party.
The Iranian Speaker also hoped for increased parliamentary interaction between the two countries in the days ahead.
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