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Pakistani leaders congratulate Indian election winners

world Updated: May 22, 2009 18:29 IST
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Pakistani leaders on Friday congratulated India's Congress party-led alliance on their recent election victory and pledged their continued commitment to peace, the foreign ministry said.

"Please accept my heartiest congratulations on the victory of the Congress party in the recently held general elections," President Asif Ali Zardari said in a message to All India Congress Party chief Sonia Gandhi, which was released to media.

"May I also take this opportunity to assure you that Pakistan remains committed to peace and prosperity in South Asia and will continue to work with India to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries peacefully and in a just manner," Zardari said.

Gandhi's Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) won 262 seats in India's 543-seat parliament and, with the support of allies, has enough to form a government.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in a separate message to his counterpart Manmohan Singh, who was due to be sworn in later Friday, said that his government remained committed to working with India "in addressing the common challenges that beset our region."

Pakistan and India began a slow-moving peace process in February 2004, which ground to a halt after New Delhi blamed the Mumbai attacks, in which 166 people were killed last November, on a Pakistani-based militant organisation.

The two nuclear-armed nations have fought three wars since their 1947 independence from British rule.