Nawaz Sharif invites Manmohan to Pakistan

Islamabad: Nawaz Sharif, who is set to be Pakistan’s prime minister for a third time, said today he would invite Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to his oath-taking ceremony here.

An upbeat Sharif – whose victory in the elections saw the Karachi Stock Exchange-100 index zoom and breach a record – told foreign correspondents in his palatial residence in Raiwind that his government would establish friendly ties with India.

Riding on hopes of peace and stability, the KSE based in Pakistan’s commercial hub Karachi gained some 300 points, breaking the KSE-100 index record of 20,000 points, as investors hailed the outcome of the May 11 polls, reported Geo News.

Unofficial results show that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has emerged the single largest party in the National Assembly with cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) standing second and the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) relegated to the third spot.

Sharif said his government would devise a national policy to tackle terrorism, reported Dawn.

“We will contact every party for the purpose of forming our policy on terrorism,” Sharif said.

Manmohan Singh had Sunday expressed New Delhi’s desire to work with the new government. He also invited Sharif to visit India after the PML-N’s win in the historic election, which saw the transition from one civilian government to another for the first time in 65 years.

Amid the victory scenes, there were some complaints of rigging.

Geo News reported that PML-N activists demonstrated outside the Jacobabad press club over an allegedly rigged poll in NA-208. The protestors later staged a sit-in outside the office of the returning officer.

PTI activists too protested outside Hyderabad press club over alleged irregularities in polling.

Former governor Ghulam Mustafa Khar’s supporters held a demonstration over rigging in Muzaffargarh NA-176, leading to a clash between the police and the demonstrators. Khar has refused to accept the results of NA-176.

As the day progressed, the Election Commission of Pakistan summoned a meeting to review the complaints.

The day also saw Punjab Governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mahmood announcing his resignation from the post following the PML-N’s clean sweep in the province.

Shahbaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif’s brother, is again expected to become chief minister of Punjab. He had become the chief minister of Punjab for the first time in 1997 and again in 2008.

The vanquished PPP now only hopes to form its government in the Sindh province. Dawn cited unofficial results which showed the party has got 70 of the 130 general provincial seats.

The leadership of the Sindh PPP is likely to meet in Karachi Tuesday for consultations on probable candidates for the posts of the leader of the house, the speaker and the deputy speaker.

Millions of Pakistanis had braved Taliban threat and bombings to vote Saturday. The National Assembly has a total of 342 seats, and the four provincial assemblies together have 728 seats. Elections were held to 268 of the National Assembly seats. Of the others, 60 seats are reserved for women and 10 for non-Muslims

-IANS

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