Pakistan desires peaceful ties with its neighbours, including India, and will work to strengthen the dialogue process that is already underway to resolve problems like the Kashmir issue, Prime Minister-elect Raja Pervez Ashraf said on Friday.
"We want peaceful ties with our neighbours Afghanistan, Iran and India. We desire good relations in our region on the basis of the philosophy of peaceful co-existence," Ashraf said during his first address in the National Assembly or lower house of parliament following his election.
"We are ready to strengthen the process of talks that is underway to solve all problems, include the Kashmir issue," he said while focussing on Pakistan's foreign policy and the regional situation.
Speaking less than an hour after he was elected the premier during a special session of the National Assembly, Ashraf made it clear that Pakistan intended to play a key role in neighbouring Afghanistan as the US begins moving toward a drawdown of troops in the war-torn country.
"As a responsible nation, Pakistan will continue to play its role as an enabler and facilitator of peace and stability in the region and the world," he said.
"As my predecessor said, for Pakistan, Kabul is the most important capital in the world. And it is our firm belief that until there is peace in Afghanistan, there can be no peace in Pakistan," Ashraf said while referring to remarks made recently by former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani.
The PPP nominated Ashraf, 61, as its prime ministerial candidate after Gilani was disqualified by the Supreme Court on Tuesday due to his conviction of contempt.