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Friday April 19, 2024

Narendra Modi congratulates Shehbaz Sharif on assuming office

US welcomes Shehbaz's return to top office, expresses willingness to work with new government

By Web Desk
March 05, 2024
Newly-elected PM Shehbaz Sharif (left) and Indian PM Narendra Modi. — PPI/AFP/File
Newly-elected PM Shehbaz Sharif (left) and Indian PM Narendra Modi. — PPI/AFP/File

A day after Shehbaz Sharif was sworn in as the country's 24th prime minister, India's PM Narendra Modi congratulated the Pakistani premier on his second term as the country's chief executive.

In a statement issued on the Indian premier's official X handle, Modi said: "Congratulations to @CMShehbaz on being sworn in as the prime minister of Pakistan".

The development comes a day after President Arif Alvi administered the oath to Shehbaz after he was elected as the prime minister for a second term following his 16-month-long stint in the top office from April 2022 to August 2023.

This is the second time that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president will serve the nation as the premier after receiving 201 votes against his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) opponent Omar Ayub Khan who got 92 votes in a ruckus-marred session of the Parliament's lower house.

Earlier, various world leaders and diplomats, including Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iran's Ebrahim Raisi, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, United Kingdom Foreign Secretary David Cameron, US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome and others had also congratulated Shehbaz on taking the helm as the country's chief executive.

US expressing willingness to work with new govt

Meanwhile, the United States has welcomed the return of Shehbaz Sharif as prime minister and assured that Washington will work with the new Pakistani government on "advancing shared interests" of the two countries.

"So I'm not going to speak with respect to the new prime minister, but as we’ve said before, we value our longstanding partnership with Pakistan and have always viewed a strong, prosperous, and democratic Pakistan as critical to United States-Pakistan interests, and our engagement with new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his government will continue to focus on advancing these shared interests,” said State Department Spokesperson Mathew Miller in a press briefing on Monday.

'Pakistan set to achieve greater accomplishment'

In a congratulatory message, China on Monday said that Pakistan, under PM Shehbaz, is set to achieve greater accomplishment in nation-building.

“We believe that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz and the new administration, Pakistan can achieve a greater agreement in nation building,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning.

Felicitating Shehbaz Sharif on assuming the prime minister's office, she said, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang had sent congratulatory messages to him.

The spokesperson said that China commended positive remarks made by the prime minister of Pakistan on bilateral relations and the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

“We commend his positive statement regarding China-Pakistan relations and CPEC,” she said.