Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau on Tuesday congratulated Prime Minister Imran Khan on forming the government, saying that he "looked forward to working together" with him.

A press release from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said that the two leaders had spoken on the phone and "stressed the need for further strengthening of ties particularly in areas of trade, commerce and investment".

"Prime Minister Imran Khan and Prime Minister Trudeau reaffirmed commitment to work together to strengthen bilateral relations in diverse fields," the press release stated.

Prime Minister Khan also "underscored the contributions of over 400,000 Canadians of Pakistani origin to Canada".

During the conversation, Trudeau lauded Prime Minister Khan's "illustrious" cricket career. He also wished the premier "well for implementing his party’s agenda for the welfare of Pakistani people", PMO said.

In a tweet earlier today, Trudeau had termed his conversation with Prime Minister Khan as a "great phone conversation" and said they spoke on a wide range of topics, including human rights, girls' education and climate change.

The call came weeks after Pakistan publicly backed Saudi Arabia in a diplomatic conflict between the kingdom and Canada.

The spat between the two countries had started after Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted to demand the release of women’s rights activist Samar Badawi. Later, the Canadian government had called for the immediate release of jailed activists.

The Saudi government had taken strong exception to the Canadian criticism of the treatment of rights activists in the Kingdom and expelled Canada’s ambassador besides recalling its own ambassador from Ottawa.

The reason behind Pakistan's support for Saudi Arabia was prompted not just by solidarity with a Muslim country and the country's position on sovereignty of states and the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, but also by an uneasy relationship with Canada, a diplomatic source had said.

The Pakistan government had reportedly been unhappy with Canada over its discriminatory visa policy towards Pakistanis, negative travel advisory and the Canadian high commissioner in Islamabad’s attitude towards the host government, the source had said.

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