Obama hails Pakistani polls

Washington, May 13 (IANS) US President Barack Obama has hailed the National Assembly election in Pakistan, calling it “a significant milestone” in the country’s democracy building.

“I congratulate the people of Pakistan on the successful completion of yesterday’s parliamentary elections,” the president said in a statement Sunday, reported Xinhua.

“The United States stands with all Pakistanis in welcoming this historic peaceful and transparent transfer of civilian power, which is a significant milestone in Pakistan’s democratic progress.”

“By conducting competitive campaigns, freely exercising your democratic rights, and persevering despite intimidation by violent extremists, you have affirmed a commitment to democratic rule that will be critical to achieving peace and prosperity for all Pakistanis for years to come,” Obama said.

He vowed to continue cooperation with the upcoming Pakistani government as “equal partners”.

Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s two-time prime minister, is set to lead the country again after unofficial results placed his party in a comfortable position against rivals.

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