Jaswant Singh congratulates PPP and PML(N) on winning Pak election

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New Delhi, Feb 22 (UNI) Former External Minister Jaswant Singh today congratulated the PPP and the PML(N) on winning the general elections in Pakistan and hoped the new government would help cement relations with India by speeding up the peace process.

He fondly recalled his long association with PPP leaders Makhtoom Amin Fahim and Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and PML (N) chief and former Premier Nawaz Sharif.

Mr Singh, who played a pivotal role in the resumption of the peace process following the SAARC Summit in January 2004, said he would be willing to play any role that would help strengthen the bonds between the two countries and accelerate the ongoing dialogue to resolve outstanding issues.

Mr Singh had two years back visited Pakistan on a goowill mission as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. Mr Singh, who was accompanied by a 100-strong group, including some people from his village in Rajasthan, had met leaders of different political parties there.

Later, some Pakistani leaders had also visited India and met him to discuss steps to strengthen people-to-people contacts.

Mr Singh hails from Barmer in Rajasthan while the PPP leadership belongs to Sindh.

UNI GS AT VC1440

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