Renowned nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has said that due to heavy imports, Pakistan’s trade deficit has widened to a record level due to which the economy is in problem and called upon the private sector to focus on producing imports substitutions in the country that would reduce trade deficit and give boost to industrial activities as well. He was addressing the business community during his visit to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI). He said that the business community was playing a key role in the economic development of the country and bringing billions of dollars in through exports, therefore, the government should resolve its problems on priority basis. He said that Pakistan was endowed with so many natural resources that with implementation of good governance, it could move ahead of Turkey and Malaysia in five years in terms of economic development. Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan said that the government has taken initiative to build new dams which was laudable. However, he said that along with building dams, government should focus on building artificial lakes in the country as a short-term strategy. He said large quantity of rain water was being lost every year which also caused floods in the country. He said best short-term solution to store water was to construct artificial lakes in the country that would also help in coping with floods and store water for agriculture. He stressed that government should complete its gas pipeline network up to the border of Iran so that whenever sanctions were lifted on Iran, Pakistan could start importing gas from there. It would help the fertiliser industry in producing more fertilisers and rid the country of fertiliser import to save precious forex reserves. He said that Pakistan’s civil service structure had gone rotten and added that he was ready to help the government in bringing reforms in civil service system. He said he was building a 300 bed seven storey welfare hospital in Lahore and business community should cooperate in completion of that project. In his welcome address, Sheikh Amir Waheed paid a rich tribute to the invaluable services of Dr AQ Khan for the nation. He said he made Pakistan the first Islamic nuclear power which was an honour not only for Pakistan, but for all Muslims. He also lauded AQ Khan for patronising many welfare projects in health and education field in the country and assured that the business community would cooperate with him in such activities. ICCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Naveed Malik and ICCI President Nisar Mirza thanked Khan for visiting ICCI and assured of their support in his welfare projects. Published in Daily Times, September 13th 2018.