Pakistan needs to stand on its own feet and rely less on outside assistance if the country was to progress, develop and prosper.This was stated by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif while speaking at a dinner hosted in his honour by the UK-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry at a Central London hotel here Wednesday evening.He lamented that despite 62 years of independence the country was still dependent on foreign assistance while countries like China, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore have all moved ahead. The Chief Minister said the time has come to build the country through its own resources, hard work and best minds and brains. He pointed out the overseas Pakistanis are doing wonders in their respective fields because of the conducive working environment in Europe and the USA. We need to create a similar favourable climate within our own country to enable it to develop and grow, he said. He said the key to development was a strong and independent judiciary, elimination of corruption and tough law and order enforcement and rule of law. Shahbaz said it was disappointing to note that even though Pakistan received huge amount of foreign assistance since its birth, the country has remained underdeveloped and continue to face huge economic and social challenges. He also pointed out the failure of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to utilise the massive aid Pakistan received during his administration for the development of the country, saying the retired General attempted to perpetuate his own rule rather than promote the well being of the nation. Subsequently, the Chief Minister said the country was left facing with huge energy crisis and law and order situation. However, he said democratic Government was now trying to sort out the things. It is a difficult process but we are doing our best. In Punjab, he said the Government was dealing both with the issues of economy and terrorism. Regarding Kerry-Lugar Bill, Shahbaz said it should not be made a point of vanity but be seen in its historical perspective. The core issue, he added, is about countrys nuclear deterrence and Pakistan has the right to update its nuclear arsenal. He invited the UK business community to invest in power generation specially one based on coal. Shahbaz said there were huge coal deposits in Sindh and in Chakwal and Mianwali in Punjab and the UK expertise in coal-generated energy could be exploited in this regard. They could also invest in livestock and dairy farming and other agriculture-related sectors, he said. The Chief Minister further said the Punjab Government was offering private-public partnership in the energy sector and this was an excellent opportunity for the expatriate Pakistani business community to invest. He invited a delegation of UKPCCI to visit Punjab and see for itself the investment opportunities in the province. Admitting that law and order is a problem, the Chief Minister, nevertheless, said the economic development cannot be put on the back burner and the two issues needed to be tackled simultaneously. Earlier, UKPCCI President and member, Punjab Assembly, Dr.Ashraf Chohan in his welcome address put a number of suggestions that Punjab Government could initiate to encourage foreign investment in the province. Some of the suggestions included taking steps for safeguarding the interests of overseas Pakistani investors in projects through sole ownership or joint ventures through Board of Investment, facilitate fast track support to the investors under one window service for completion of their projects and resolving issues faced by the existing projects and companies operating in the Province, tackling the land mafia in a effective manner, provision of export processing zones, credit facilities such as working capital through Bank of Punjab.