ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Water and Power and Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday said that Army is fighting operation Zarb-e-Azb to root out the terrorism menace from the country, as it had already destroyed the command and control system of the terrorists in North Waziristan Agency.

The Federal Minister made these remarks during the two-days International Investment Conference, which has been kicked off here in the Federal capital. Khawaja Muhammad Asif briefed the foreign investors on the country's situation. He also briefed the participants of the conference on the government's steps taken to address the energy crisis.

He admitted that government had failed to reduce the leakages in power sector and to close down the markets by 8.00 pm.

"The government has a proposal to shut down the markets by 8pm to save the electricity, which will be shared with the provinces", he said.

"The government has taken long, medium and short run measures to resolve the energy crisis. In long-run, Pakistan's future lies in Thar coal", he briefed the participants of the conference.

LNG import would start by February 2015, as the country would import 270 mmfcd Liquefied Natural Gas would be provided to the four independent power producers (IPPs) and KAPCO. The imported LNG would replace the furnace oil in power plant that would reduce the prices of electricity, he added.

Khawaja Asif informed the participants of the conference that Pakistan is the country where there is a great potential for investors as there is a huge supply demand gap and regulations like access to information is a basic right to address any reservations of investors and free judiciary for ensuring accountability.

He termed privatisation the ultimate solution of the power transmission lines. "It is not government's business to run the power generation, distribution and transmission companies, as its responsibility to make the policies".

The government would immediately privatise four DISCOs, FESCO, LESCO, IESCO, GEPCO and all GENCOS, he added.

The two-days International Investment Conference has been kicked off here in Federal capital wherein top government's functionaries are inviting the foreign investors to invest in different fields of the country with complete guarantee to their capital beside offering huge returns.

The Board of Investment has organised the two days International Investment Conference in Islamabad, which was attended by 241 foreign investors of the 21 countries apart from the local businessmen on the first day (Monday).

The government is seeking foreign investment in different sectors like energy, oil and gas, privatisation, Information Technology and telecommunication, roads and infrastructure, agriculture and livestock, mining and minerals, financial sector and the capital market.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and Chairman Board of Investment Dr Miftah Ismail said that Pakistan as part of fast developing Asia is poised for sustained and rapid growth and offers long-term opportunities for stable high returns. Pakistan has a winning blend of rich natural resources, a large and growing market, and a disciplined and skilled work force, he added.

By 2025, Pakistan will be one of the six countries in the world with a 100 million strong middle class, ready to seek and afford better lifestyles and living standards.

Referring to the natural resources, Chairman Board of Investment said that Indus cascade can generate over 80,000 MWs of electricity through dams and run-of-the-river plants.

He further said:“In Thar we have the 5th largest coal deposits in the world, valued at over US$ 9 trillion. In Balochistan we have some of the largest copper deposits in the world, again valued in trillions of dollars. We have iron ore in Punjab, gold in Punjab and Balochistan, rich agricultural land around the country and so many other mineral resources.”

"Pakistan is an upcoming emerging market. In fact, many local and foreign companies have all made record profits in recent years. This is the reason our stock market has been making new records since our government was elected and our corporate sector has been posting record profits. This has encouraged other enterprises to expand their investments in Pakistan. And this is the reason why World Bank has projected investment to rise in Pakistan", Dr Miftah Ismail remarked.

He admitted that there are areas that need attention of the foreign investors. “Similarly, there is also need to improve our ease of doing business index and our global competitiveness. Here the Board of Investment in collaboration with our Finance Ministry, the World Bank and IMF is working on changing the rules so that investments for you become fast and easy,” he said.

He informed the participants of the conference that Pakistan has one of the most liberal foreign investment regimes in South Asia.  About 100 per cent foreign equity is permitted in all sectors of the economy, he added.

Chairman Board of Investment concluded by reiterating that our government is fully committed to unleash the full potential of our economy, and work with you to build a strong, stable, and economically vibrant country.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Water and Power, Dr. Musaddiq Malik said today containers could be seen everywhere in Islamabad but these containers are of investment.

He said that country has enormous skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled human resource and if investment comes in energy sector it becomes a highly profitable for investors besides enabling the country to develop its energy sector.