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Obama Calls Apparent Pakistan Winner Sharif



U.S. President Barack Obama has telephoned his congratulations to Pakistan's likely new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose party won Saturday's parliamentary election.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the United States and Pakistan have a long history of working together. He said Mr. Obama looks forward to continued cooperation with the Pakistani government. He also praised Pakistani voters for a large turnout in the face of intimidation by extremists.

Official results Tuesday show that with nearly all the votes counted, Mr. Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League has won the most seats.

His party will control 123 of 272 seats. Mr. Sharif will only need the backing of independents to secure majority support in the Parliament.

The outgoing Pakistan People's Party won 31 seats and cricket star Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party won 26 seats.



Mr. Sharif says he wants to continue good relations with the United States. But he warns that Washington must take Pakistan's concerns seriously about drone strikes against militants. The drone strikes along the Afghan border are deeply unpopular among Pakistanis who say the strikes have killed civilians.

Mr. Sharif was Pakistan's prime minister from 1990 until 1993, when he was forced to resign because of allegations of corruption. He returned to the job in 1997, but was toppled by a military coup two years later.

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