ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday said that India never responded sincerely to Pakistan’s peace overtures.

Speaking at the Business Leaders Summit here, Qureshi said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had offered New Delhi a hand of friendship and asked for foreign ministers meeting on the sidelines of UN General Assembly to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries through dialogue but India declined the offer.

The foreign minister said that Pakistan has taken several peace initiatives and Kartarpur Corridor was one of them. However, he said, India never responded positively to Pakistan’s peace efforts.

The minister said that Pakistan was increasing bilateral trade with Iran, China and other countries of the region. Qureshi said China “is our strategic partner and we want to transform this relationship into an economic partnership.”

He said that Pakistan wanted peace in Afghanistan and the government was facilitating peace process in the country. The FM said that the topmost priority of the government was to revitalize the national economy.

He said when Prime Minister Imran Khan ascended to power last year, he inherited a lot of challenges, including corruption, flight of capital, and other socio-economic ills, which had to be overcome.

Qureshi said that the PTI’s economic team, under the leadership of Finance Minister Asad Umar, had taken many steps for economic uplift of the country during the first six months of the government.

He said that PTI had been elected on the agenda of change and the people will see change by the end of the tenure of the present government.

Qureshi said that the government was taking steps to create investment opportunities in the country and these steps have already paid the dividends.

He said the United Arab Emirates was taking keen interest in making investment in different sectors in Pakistan, while Qatar also planned to invest in the country’s food processing industry.

He said that the government planned to make Pakistan a hub of business and investment in the region.

The foreign minister lauded the European Foreign Ministers and parliamentarians for supporting Pakistan in securing the GSP Plus facility for its exports.

Addressing the Business Summit, Finance Minister Asad Umar said that the government was striving to bring reforms in the institutions. He said that the best professionals are being appointed in the institutions. The finance minister said: “We are in the process of applying IT solutions to check tax evasion.”