Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has asked potential investors to invest in Pakistan, which he claims is conducive for this purpose, in a meeting with the chairman and CEO of Inspur (Computing) Group, who called on him in Tianjin, China, on Wednesday. However, the sentiment of Pakistan being conducive to foreign investment is not borne out by the fact that so many of our own entrepreneurs are fleeing Pakistan, pulling up stakes and going elsewhere. Potential investors cannot ignore the crippling power loadshedding, uncertain law and order, inflation and over-regulated economy. He also gave out the same message to the Bata Shoe Company, which already has an extensive presence in Pakistan. The PM ignored these issues while addressing the conference to which he said that Pakistan would prove a bridge for energy, trade and tourism. It was also not clear why he chose to say that Pakistan was improving relations with India, without making any mention of its duplicity in suppressing the Kashmir issue. If he thought that saying so would enthuse his audience, he should have realised that this would merely further the Indian agenda. Before doing so, he would have done better to make out a case for Pakistan based on its merits. It would also have been better if Pakistan could present itself as a country independent of American influence in its foreign policy.Business executives are acute and also cautious, especially when making investment decisions. Raja Ashraf should first remove the impediments to investment that exist in Pakistan, and then expect to be believed when he extols its merits as an investment destination. This perhaps implies a wider agenda than he has time to accomplish in the time left before he faces a general election, but he should remember that a country which cannot guarantee an uninterrupted power supply cannot realistically expect to attract investment by information technology firms. He must also be aware that a shoe manufacturer with a presence in Pakistan cannot but be interested in the fatal fire in a Lahore shoe factory. He must also take an interest, if for no other reason.