NEW YORK: Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani said that Pakistan's economy has witnessed an impressive turnaround as a result of recent reforms. Addressing the annual meeting of 20-20 Investment Association in New York, Ambassador Jilani said economic progress and reduction in terrorist incidents have made Pakistan as a favorite destination for international investors.

The envoy said international rating agencies have upgraded Pakistan's economic ranking; he cited the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the harbinger of an economic revolution beneficial not only to China and Pakistan but the entire region. He asked the members of the business community to take advantage of the business opportunities offered by Pakistan and invest.

Speaking on the Pakistan-India relations Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani in the meeting held in partnership with East West Institute in New York of the 20-20 Investment Association a group of the world's most influential institutional investors, the Ambassador gave an honest and candid assessment of the relations between Pakistan and India over the last seven decades. He highlighted that despite holding of a number of rounds of dialogue, both countries remained in a logjam today mainly due to unresolved Jammu & Kashmir dispute, illegal occupation of Siachen Glacier by India, non-resolution of land and maritime boundary in Sir Creek area, water issues, terrorism and issues related to conventional and unconventional arms.

He pointed out that though agreements on some of the issues were reached bilaterally during the Cold War era however in the post-cold war period, Indian has hardened its position on all substantive matters. He emphasized that this change in attitude had resulted primarily from the increasing international focus accorded to India, which did not feel obliged to come to an agreement with Pakistan on the basis of international norms and legality.

He opined that election of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif presented a golden opportunity for successful peace process between the two arch rivals as he won elections on the slogan of economic development catalyzed by a peaceful neighborhood. BJP's victory in 2014 elections also generated hopes in Pakistan of some progress on important issues, taking a cue from the significant improvement seen in the relationship during the tenure of previous BJP government under the leadership of Prime Minister Vajpayee.

The Ambassador stated that despite a succession of positive overtures by Pakistan, the bilateral relations had unfortunately returned to the familiar hostility witnessed in the past.

The way forward, the Ambassador said called for sincere efforts to address the causes, not the symptoms of tensions between the two neighbors; he emphasized peace building constituencies on both sides to serve as foundation for long-term rapprochement. He, however, underscored the utmost significance of settlement of disputes in accordance with international legality as the only route to establishing durable peace which would in turn underwrite economic prosperity for the region.