NEW DELHI (Agencies) - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the South Asian nation wants to build close ties of friendship and partnership with neighbouring Pakistan. "The ushering in of democracy in Pakistan opens new opportunities for us to work together to bring the fruits of peace, prosperity and development to our region by developing the close and cooperative ties that should be normal between two neighbours," Singh said in a message to Asif Ali Zardari, who was elected president of Pakistan on Saturday. The Indian government wants to build ties 'between our countries that respond to the aspirations of our two peoples', Singh said in a statement issued by his office. Singh congratulated Zardari on his election as Pakistan president, calling it a chance to transform relations between the rival nations. "We have the political will to work with you to seize these opportunities and transform our relations. In your new office, you will find a friend in India." Singh added: "Please accept my heartiest felicitations on your election ... Please accept my best wishes for your success, good health and well-being in the service of the people of Pakistan." Following is text of the message: "Please accept my heartiest felicitations on your election as the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. As you assume this high office, I convey to you the desire of the Government and people of India to build close ties of friendship and partnership between our countries that respond to the aspirations of our two peoples. The ushering in of democracy in Pakistan opens new opportunities for us to work together to bring the fruits of peace, prosperity and development to our region by developing the close and cooperative ties that should be normal between two neighbours. We have the political will to work with you to seize these opportunities and transform our relations. In your new office, you will find a friend in India. Please accept my best wishes for your success, good health and well being in he service of the people of Pakistan. With assurances of my highest consideration." Meanwhile, Chinese leader Hu Jintao has congratulated Pakistan's new President Asif Ali Zardari on his election and vowed continued close ties between the two allies, state-run media said Sunday. "China and Pakistan are friendly neighbours joined by common mountains and rivers, and the peoples of the two countries have developed an all-weather friendship," Xinhua news agency said, quoting the Chinese president's message. "When dealing with international and regional affairs, the two countries support each other and coordinate closely," Hu's message said. "In the new historical period, China is willing to join hands with Pakistan to carry forward the traditional friendship." Meanwhile, Australia on Sunday welcomed the democratic resolution of Pakistan's leadership as it urged the country's new president to focus on security issues, particularly in the Afghan border region. "That's good in the sense the Pakistani democratic and parliamentary process has resolved that without a need for intervention from the military so we welcome that," Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told Sky News. "We hope now that the Pakistani government and political system can now start to focus on the very serious political and economic, and social and strategic and security problems, that Pakistan has, particularly abutting the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, which bring very deleterious consequences for our troops in Afghanistan."