Karzai Congratulates New Pakistan Counterpart
Afghanistan, Kabul, 7 September / Trend corr.A.Hakimi/ President Hamid Karzai congratulated Asif Ali Zardari on his victory in Pakistan's presidential poll Saturday and said he hoped this would herald an upturn in relations between the Islamic neighbours, Afghanistan-based Trend correspondent reported.
Zardari secured a large win in the presidential elections called after Pervez Musharraf, with whom Karzai had an uneasy relationship, resigned on August 18.
"Hamid Karzai, besides congratulating the Pakistan's People's Party (PPP) over their victory in the election, wished success for Asif Ali Zardari," a statement from the Afghan leader's office said.
"The president of Afghanistan hoped that Afghanistan-Pakistan relations improve further in different aspects under the presidency of Mr Zardari and stability is established in the region through bilateral efforts," it added. Karzai is said to have had a good relationship with Zardari's late wife, Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated last year and headed PPP.
Afghanistan and Pakistan have a difficult relationship because of militant unrest, with Afghans saying much of the violence inside this country stems from rebel sanctuaries in Pakistan, an allegation Islamabad rejects.
The United States led an invasion that toppled Afghanistan's Taliban regime in late 2001, sending some Taliban and their Al-Qaeda allies across the border.