LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday congratulated Pakistan's incoming premier Nawaz Sharif on his resounding election victory and praised his commitment to economic reforms.
Cameron broke off from a trip to Washington to speak to Sharif on the telephone and they agreed to work to reinforce the “strong bond” between their two countries, according to the British prime minister's office.
They also pledged their commitment to the trilateral process, the three-way talks between Britain, Pakistan and Afghanistan aimed at finding peace in Afghanistan, where Britain is starting to reduce its 9,000-strong troop presence.
“The Prime Minister and Nawaz Sharif agreed that the strong bond between the UK and Pakistan was a huge asset and that they would work together to strengthen the relationship further,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said.
“The Prime Minister welcomed Nawaz Sharif's commitment to prioritise economic reforms.”
“The two leaders also agreed on their shared commitment to the trilateral process and its importance in achieving peace in Afghanistan and the wider region.”
Sharif, who returned to office 14 years after he was ousted in a military coup, campaigned on a pro-business agenda and stocks in Karachi hit an all-time high on Monday on hopes he can revive Pakistan's shattered economy.
He has appointed veteran finance minister Ishaq Dar, who served in the role in Sharif's second administration and again briefly in 2008.