Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai to congratulate him on the successful conduct of the first round of presidential polls in that country.
Dr. Singh also lauded President Karzai`s personal leadership and the courage, resolve and determination of the people of Afghanistan who had defied terrorism and violence and voted for a democratic and prosperous future for their country, a PMO release said.
President Karzai expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister and said that Afghanistan was grateful for the support and assistance that had consistently been extended to it by India. He added that the Afghan people regarded India as a true friend, the release added.
The Prime Minister said India would continue to stand by Afghanistan.
The polls in Afghanistan will end 13 years of rule by Karzai, who has held power since 2001. Preliminary election results are expected on April 24.