New Delhi, June 23: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday congratulated Raja Parvez Ashraf on his appointment as Pakistan’s new prime minister and voiced confidence that New Delhi and Islamabad will continue to make progress in their bilateral issues and strengthen cooperation during his tenure.
“I am confident that during your term as Prime Minister, our two countries will continue to make progress in their bilateral dialogue on all issues and build good neighbourly relations by strengthening their cooperation in all areas for the benefit of the people,” Manmohan Singh said in a message to the Pakistan prime minister.
“I would like to extend to you my heartiest congratulations on your appointment as Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” said Manmohan Singh.
“On behalf of the people and Government of India and alsoon my own behalf, I convey to you our best wishes for success in your new assignment as well as for the peace, prosperity and well-being of the people of Pakistan under your leadership,” he said.
Ashraf of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), a former federal minister in the government of ousted prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, was Friday elected the country’s 25th prime minister by 211 votes to 89 by a special session of the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament.
Ashraf, a former minister for water and power, and information and technology, was administered the oath of office by President Asif Ali Zardari Friday night.
The prime minister’s post became vacant after the Supreme Court disqualified Gilani with effect from April 26 after his conviction for contempt of court for refusing to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen corruption case against President Zardari.