LAHORE/ KABUL  - World leaders, the caretaker prime minister and other national leaders on Sunday congratulated former premier Nawaz Sharif on his thumping victory in historic general polls, hoping the incoming government under him would be able to tackle the internal and external issues confronting the country.

According to Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed-al Nahyan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned Sharif and expressed good wishes to him as well as the people of Pakistan.

Saudi Deputy Prime Minister Prince Mugrin-bin-Abdul Aziz, other key personalities of Saudi royal family, Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hassan and Punjab Chief Minister Najam Sethi also congratulated Nawaz Sharif on convincing win of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in landmark elections that will mark the transfer of power from one democratically-elected government to another.  Congratulating Sharif, Saudi personalities expressed their well wishes for him and prayed for his successes and prosperity of Pakistan.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai greeted Sharif on his party triumph in elections over telephone. He called on incoming Pakistani government to help negotiate an end to the Taliban insurgency that had ravaged his country for nearly 12 years.

"We hope that the government paves the way for peace and brotherhood with Afghanistan and cooperates in fighting terrorism and sincerely rooting out terrorist sanctuaries."

 The two countries need to work together to be "saved from the menace of terrorism", he said in a statement, welcoming Saturday's high voter turnout as a sign that the people wanted democracy despite threats from militants.

In his felicitation message to the former Pakistani premier, Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh hoped to work with Sharif to chart ‘a new course for the relationship’ between the nuclear-armed neighbours. He congratulated Sharif on his ‘emphatic victory’, and invited him to visit India at a ‘mutually convenient’ time. "Congratulations to Sharif and his party for their emphatic victory in Pakistan's elections,” Singh wrote on his official Twitter account.

Singh also congratulated the people and the political parties of Pakistan for braving the threats of violence and voting in large numbers in Saturday's election.

He expressed India’s desire to work with the new government of Pakistan in charting a new course for the relationship between the two countries.

Earlier, Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said Nawaz Sharif’s victory would be good for India-Pakistan relations.

“India welcomes whatever result that comes out of a democratic election,” Khurshid told televisions as results began to come in, virtually congratulating Sharif on coming to power even before all the results were declared.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, while speaking to Nawaz Sharif, said the people had given a clear mandate to the PML-N to form government.

The PML-N chief also felicitated Fazl on securing three national assembly seats.

According to sources, the two leaders also exchanged views on strategy for government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Sharif was Sunday poised to return to power after a 14-year hiatus, as results of the elections started trickling in.