WASHINGTON - Noting that Pakistan-India relations have returned to "familiar hostility", a top Pakistani diplomat has called for sincere efforts to address the causes, not the symptoms, of tensions between the two neighbours.

"Despite a succession of positive overtures by Pakistan, the bilateral relations had unfortunately returned to the familiar hostility witnessed in the past," Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani told a meeting of 20-20 Investment Association held in partnership with East West Institute in New York.

The 20-20 Investment Association is a group of the world's most influential institutional investors, who together represent over US $7 trillion in investment capital. In a frank assessment of the Indo-Pakistan ties, Ambassador Jilani emphasised that building peace constituencies on both sides which could 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 towards establishing durable peace which would, in turn, underwrite economic prosperity for the region. Elaborating, he said that despite holding of a number of rounds of dialogue, both countries remained in 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 agreements on some of the issues were reached bilaterally during the Cold War era but post-Cold-War, India's position has hardened on all substantive matters.

The Pakistani envoy emphasised that this discernible change in attitude had been witnessed primarily caused by increasing international focus accorded to India by the international community.

New Delhi simply did not feel obliged to come to an agreement with Pakistan on the basis of international norms and legality, he said.

The election of Prime Minister Mian 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 catalysed by a peaceful neighbourhood, Jilani said.

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 govt under the leadership of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he said.

But despite efforts by Pakistan, the relations have deteriorated, he added. The Ambassador told the distinguished audience that as a result of reforms introduced by Pakistan there has been an impressive turn around in the economy. Economic progress coupled with reduction in terrorist incidents had resulted in Pakistan emerging as a favourite destination for international investors and Pakistan's economic ranking has been upgraded by the international rating agencies, he said.

The Ambassador emphasised that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor would bring about an economic revolution beneficial not only to China and Pakistan but the entire region.

He urged the members of the business community to take advantage of the business opportunities offered by Pakistan.