LONDON  - British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said that President Musharraf's resignation ends a critical period in Pakistan's history and calls for Pakistan's good relations with the UK and other countries. In a statement issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Miliband said: "Pakistan is a vital friend of the UK and it is essential... that it has a strong and democratic government with a clear mandate and programme for thoroughgoing reform of its social, political and economic structures." The British Foreign Secretary said: "In this context, the Musharraf years yielded significant dividends, not only in the economic field but also, until last autumn, in areas like media freedom. It is important to highlight President Musharraf's commitment to tackle terrorism, to promote dialogue with India, especially over Kashmir, and to root out corruption. But reform depends above all on legitimacy, and that is why the UK has been at pains to stress the importance for Pakistan of strong institutions rather than strong individuals, and why we believe a strong democracy is key. The responsibilities on political leaders in Pakistan are now significant. They need to come together to ensure that the recently elected government carries forward an economic and security agenda consistent with the long-term interests of the Pakistani people". Miliband said: "UK will remain strongly committed to its partnership with the Pakistani people, notably through our aid programme. We will also continue to deepen our security cooperation with the new government. And we will be clear about the essential nature of a new partnership between Pakistan and Afghanistan. "The British Government will look forward to the early election of a new President in Pakistan to take forward the important shared work that binds our two countries together."