Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday congratulated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on becoming the 23rd premier of Pakistan. Following the ouster of PTI chairman Imran Khan from the office of the prime minister, the Opposition’s joint candidate Shehbaz was elected as the premier – having secured 174 votes. In his congratulatory message to Shehbaz on Twitter, PM Modi said: “Congratulations to H. E. Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on his election as the Prime Minister of Pakistan.” “India desires peace and stability in a region free of terror so that we can focus on our development challenges and ensure the well-being and prosperity of our people,” he said. Meanwhile, in a telephonic conversation with Shehbaz, Turkish President Erdogan told the newly-elected prime minister that he was “extremely happy” about him being elected as the premier. “I am sure that under your leadership, Pakistan-Turkey’s brotherly ties will bolster,” said Erdogan, who called Shehbaz hours after the lower house of the Parliament elected him. In response, Shehbaz said he aspired to bring both the countries closer during his tenure as the prime minister and thanked Erdogan for his congratulatory telephonic call. In his inaugural speech right after the NA elected him, Shehbaz lamented that despite them wanting peaceful ties with India, they know that until the Kashmir issue is resolved, relations between the two cannot be strengthened. Urging Indian premier Narendra Modi to understand the issues of the people living on both sides, he questioned there is poverty, unemployment, medical issues, etc. then “why are we harming ourselves and the generations to come?” He said Modi should come forward and resolve the Kashmir issue according to the will of the Kashmiris and reiterated that his government will continue to raise its voice for the people of Kashmir.