Pakistan seeks stronger UK ties after Keir Starmer’s win

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DNA

Pakistan Friday congratulated UK Prime Minister-elect Keir Starmer after his party won a landslide victory in the British general elections, seeking to further boost the ties between the two nations.

Starmer’s centre-left Labour won a massive majority in the 650-seat parliament. Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives suffered the worst performance in the party’s long history as voters punished them for a cost of living crisis, failing public services, and a series of scandals.

“I extend my heartfelt felicitations to @Keir_Starmer, Leader of Labour Party @UKLabour on the historic victory in parliamentary election in United Kingdom,” Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar said in a post on X.

He noted that Pakistan and the UK share deep-rooted and broad-based ties founded in shared history and people-to-people contacts.

“I am confident that under his stewardship our relationship will be further strong and we can work together for global peace, prosperity and development,” he added.

The election result has upended British politics. Labour won more than 410 seats, an increase of over 210, while the Conservatives, the western world’s most successful party, lost about 250 lawmakers, including a record number of senior ministers and former Prime Minister Liz Truss.

A glum Sunak conceded defeat and will meet King Charles later to formally resign before Starmer is appointed in his place.

“Today power will change hands in a peaceful and orderly manner, with goodwill on all sides,” Sunak said. “There is much to learn and reflect on and I take responsibility for the loss to the many good hardworking Conservative candidates … I am sorry.”

In his victory speech, Starmer said: “We did it. Change begins now […] We said we would end the chaos, and we will, we said we would turn the page, and we have. Today, we start the next chapter, begin the work of change, the mission of national renewal and start to rebuild our country.”

The election victory represents an incredible turnaround for Starmer and Labour, which critics and supporters said was facing an existential crisis just three years ago when it appeared to have lost its way after its 2019 drubbing.