PM congratulates Zardari on becoming Pak President

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New Delhi, Sep 7 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today congratulated Pakistan Peoples' Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on his election as President of Pakistan.

In his congratulatory message, Dr Singh said, ''Please accept my heartiest felicitations on your election as the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.'' ''As you assume this high office, I convey to you the desire of the Government and people of India to build close ties of friendship and partnership between our countries that respond to the aspirations of our two peoples.'' Dr Singh in his message recognised the ushering in of democracy in Pakistan as opening of ''new opportunities for the two countries to work together to bring the fruit of peace, prosperity and development to the region by developing close and cooperative ties.'' ''We have the political will to work with you to seize these opportunities and transform our relations. In your new office, you will find a friend in India,'' he added.

Dr Singh wished Mr Zardari success, good health and well-being in the service of the people of Pakistan.

Mr Zardari was yesterday elected as the country's 12th president almost 19 days after his predecessor Pervez Musharraf resigned after eight years of tumultuous rule.

UNI PMD AKJ PM1525

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