PM can hold early polls: Sheikh Rasheed

Published: December 6, 2018
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AML chief Sheikh Rashid. PHOTO: AGENCIES/FILE

AML chief Sheikh Rashid. PHOTO: AGENCIES/FILE

RAWALPINDI: Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid has said it’s the constitutional right of a Prime Minister to hold early elections in reference to PM Imran Khan’s earlier statement, hinting at early general elections in the country.

Talking to media at the Railways hospital here on Wednesday, the railways minister said his ministry has set a profit margin target of Rs10 billion for the financial year 2018-19 adding the task given to him by PM Imran as focal person of Leh Expressway Project will be completed soon.

He also announced a new train would be started from Karachi to Peshawar that will cover distance of 1,760 kilometers in eight hours at the speed of 160 km per hour. He also linked benefits of the construction of China Pakistan Economic Corridor with the development of railway department.

“CPEC project is the backbone of the economy and revolutionary changes would be carried out in the rehabilitation of railway with the support of China,” said Rashid adding the Rehman Baba train would be inaugurated in the third week of this month.

Criticising previous governments’ spending of huge sums on the construction of roads, he said previous administrations spent more than Rs18 billion on building roads but ignored the real concern which is improving the condition of tracks as they are currently in a dilapidated condition.

He also said there are 2,000 railway crossings without gates and in limited resources it has become difficult for railway to construct any as he urged people to not play cricket on railway tracks as it leads to accidents. Rashid also said number of freight trains would be increased.

The federal minister also announced a new train would be added to Green line service while work is in progress for starting two new trains from Quetta to Karachi.

Meanwhile, taking shots at Pakistan Peoples Party Co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari, the Awami Muslim League chief said, “Zardari has a habit of changing styles as per need and therefore his statements also keep changing”.

The federal minister also hinted at a massive anti-corruption operation, saying the government plans to out all ‘thieves’ by March 2019, renewing his pledge that corruption in railway would not be tolerated at any level.

“2019 would be year of Imran Khan’s success,” he predicted adding the previous rulers had ruined Pakistan’s economy.

 

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