WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his official visit in Washington said India's response to efforts for peace has not been encouraging. Addressing the Pakistani-American community in Washington, he said Pakistan wants friendly relations with all its neighbours, including India.

"If we sincerely want to bring peace to the region, we will have to resolve the Kashmir issue, adding, "The entire world knows that Kashmir is the root cause of tension in the region."

Nawaz also expressed Pakistan's desire for peace in Afghanistan and said that Islamabad would continue to play its role in this regard. He reiterated Pakistan's resolve to root out terrorism.

During his speech, Nawaz also highlighted socio-economic development initiated by PML-N, including the Rs341 billion Kissan Package, the joint Pak-China Gwadar port initiative and Pak-Russia gas pipeline project.

The prime minister said the addition of 3,600 megawatts of electricity to the national grid by 2017 would allow the country to overcome the energy crisis. He said Pakistan's budget deficit had been reduced from 8.8 per cent to 5.3pc, and that the stock market had picked up. The premier called for all stakeholders to join hands for progress and development in Pakistan.

Upon his arrival in Washington, he was presented with a guard of honour by a contingent of the US armed forces.