Though cash-starved Pakistan seeking maximum foreign direct investment (FDI) to keep the wheel of the economy move smooth but suicide bombings, rampant corruption, an inept government and last but not the least electricity and gas loadshedding that crippled industries have not only kept away local traders and manufacturers to invest in the country but foreign investors also showed their reluctance to even visit Pakistan who always seek such regions having good infrastructure, business-friendly environment and where local governments give them guarantees for the safety of their investments. These views were expressed by Lahore Esschem (Pvt) Ltd Chief Executive Khawaja Khawar Rashid while talking to The Nation at his office at Lawrance Road. He said that being an executive member of LCCI, he just reached Lahore after visiting South Korea, Vietnam and China. He said that he was taken aback when he personally observed that Korea is progressing leaps and bound and its exports are reaching up to amazing level. He recalled his memory and said that once Korea tried to trail braze Pakistan by following its five-year plan in Ayub era. Economic experts and technocrats used to visit frequently Pakistan and observed its economic development programmes. Now Korea is being ranked in developed countries while Pakistan, who was once leader in becoming Asian tiger economically, is striving hard to avoid bankrupt country, he added. He predicted that the most poor country Vietnam which faced long-timed suffering due war with America is also going to emerge as economic giant in Asia within a short span of time as its government is emphasizing to implement business-friendly policies. While confessing that Pakistan has enormous potential in regard to workforce, resources and geographical position, Khawar said that Pakistan currency is depreciating day after day and its exports are declining steeply but the pity is that its rulers are snoring in deep slumber as no one in power corridors is listening the problems of traders who are paying large chunk of taxes, he added. He further revealed that only Punjab province has over 68,000 industries including 14,820 textile units, 6,778 ginning units, 7355 agri-based food units and almost 40,000 miscellaneous small and medium-sized units that run on either gas or electricity. But on account of severe and intermittent loadshedding of gas and power, how is it possible that these units which have employed million of workforce could run smoothly. He claimed that almost 60 per cent of textile mills set up in Lahore and its suburb areas have already been shut down due to non-availability of gas and power. If it is to be considered that just 25 per cent these units have only been shut down for a period of only four months in a year, it would mean that labourers have been deprived of their wages in the tune of Rs 308 billion. Giving reasons of energy shortage in the country, he said that in 80s, country used to generate over 70 per cent electricity from hydel means while rest of the power come from thermal plants but, unfortunately, now the position has entirely changed and 70 per cent electricity is being generated through thermal plants and only 20 per cent is being produced through hydel means and most of precious water is being wasted to ocean rather to be utilized for irrigation and power generation. He claimed that this conspiracy is being hedged by those who have vested interests including oil companies which have intention that Pakistan remained dependent on their products. He said that these oil companies have nothing to do with the welfare of citizens and they would be happy if per unit electricity is being sold at the rate of Rs 30, he added. While quoting his bitter experience, he further said that being a businessman he has to visit extensively to various countries of the world including Europe, Gulf and Asia. He said that he and his delegation members felt embarrassment in recent visit to Korea, Vietnam and China when they invited their counterparts to visit Pakistan in a bid to further boost up economic and trade relation between two countries. They, he said, bluntly refused to visit Pakistan owing to severe insurgency and terrorism. Contrary to this, they insisted that they should come to Dubai, Singapore or New Delhi for negotiations or final trade deal. He further revealed that when LCCI delegation reached Seoul, a lay man asked me from where this delegation came. Upon my answer that we came from Pakistan, he straightforwardly said the country where always doz, doz occurred (bullets and insurgency take place). Member of Lahore Peace Committee Khawaja Khawar Rashid said that though rulers are struggling to shake off Pakistans image as a global epicentre of militancy and a failed state but, unfortunately, other countries are taking these steps seriously as US President Barack Obama once called Pakistans tribal areas adjacent to Afghan border the most dangerous place in the world while foreign investors especially European countries give no importance to Pakistan owing to suicide bombings at will by Al-Qaieda-linked Taliban which usually made headlines around the world that kept away foreign investors from our country. He further said that if our government wants to establish countrys economy, it has to set up tax free zones like Oman where government had offered businessmen of the world to invest their capital without any hesitation by giving them guarantee of their capital. He said that by offering them other lucrative incentives for 30 years, Omani government has offered to give as much land to businessmen for setting up of mills, factories as they needed without spending a penny on 99 years lease. Khawar further said that not only Asian businessmen but also traders from across the world are mulling to invest in Oman. He suggested the Pakistan government to formulate such plans to attract foreign investment of the world by giving investors and traders incentives. He felt sorry over the advisory notes of different countries including Europe and America to their citizens forbidding them not to visit Pakistan. He appealed the government to take steps in dispelling the impression of Pakistan as terrorist country from the minds of foreign investors and traders who want to visit and initiate business terms with Pakistanis counterparts. He further said that Americans used to give us aid just to fulfil their nefarious designs otherwise they have no sympathy to Pakistanis rather they foresee their own interests. He stressed the government to announce publicly that Pakistan would not get any more aid from America. He emphasized that government should take initiatives for the beginning of trade with USA and other European countries but not aid. Khawaja Khawar, while giving details of his business, said that he deals in chemical trade. He claimed that no factory or mill in the country can run without chemical as from steel mill to mineral water plant, chemical of certain type is necessary to produce products. He said his entity is dealing chemicals in textile, food and beverage, soap, paint, pharmaceutical and especially in cosmetic sectors. As local manufacturers and markets cannot meet countrys chemical demands that is why over 90 per cent chemicals are being imported from different countries including USA, UK and India. He said India is producing enough chemicals to export even to America and UK. He said though he is a businessman and an employer but still he supports labourers cause that their wages should be raised from Rs7,000 to minimum Rs 10,000 so that they could have a sigh of relief in these inflation-hit period. He further said that it is the need of the hour that government take some steps to encourage manufacturers and traders to boost up export volume so that Pakistan could get precious foreign exchange and eventually country could be put on the track of prosperity and progress.