LAHORE: Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid has said an alliance of opposition parties has come into effect to strike a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) style deal with the government.
“If [Prime Minister] Imran Khan gives an NRO to Sharif brothers and Asif Ali Zardari along with the permission to fly abroad, the coalition will fizzle out in an hour,” Rashid said on Saturday while addressing a press conference in Lahore.
He also took a jibe at the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led Sindh government and asked those responsible for afflicting Sindh with HIV/AIDs to be ashamed of their incompetence.
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Commenting on the opposition’s anti-government movement to be started after Eidul Fitr, Rashid said the opposition parties may very well try this, adding that “the PM had already said that they [corrupt politicians] will not return the looted wealth so easily.”
The railway minister admitted that inflation had spiraled out of control but once again blamed the past governments for it. Rashid, however, claimed that economic condition will improve in 2 years. Calling China a friend of Pakistan, he said the international powers did not want Pakistan Railways to progress.
He said: “Following the Supreme Court’s order, we will remove as many encroachments along the Karachi Circular Railway’s (KCR) route as possible.” Rashid said the KCR will be cleared in a month and handed over to the Sindh government, adding that: “We inherited 70 years of encroachments.”
He announced running 5 special trains on Eid. He also announced to start three freight trains, adding that restoration of railway is the prosperity of the country.
He expressed desire to see implementation of the Chine Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and to run a train till Taftan and Gwadar. “Poor people of Sindh could not get even one train in 70 years. Occupancy of Shah Abdul Latif Express is 140% to 150% and these trains are being run for the poor,” he said.
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The minister said he will visit Sukkur division and try to learn the reasons behind the goods train accident on Friday. “It is the second derailment incident to take place there. I will sit on the trolley to check the track,” he added.
He said the Khyber Mail, Jafar Express, PAK-Business Express and Tezgam have been given a stop at the Lahore Cantonment station to decrease rush at the Lahore railway station.
The minister said the number of passengers had increased to 6 million and additional revenue of Rs5 billion was earned from the passengers this year. “Imran Khan will inaugurate the Sir Syed Ahmed Express in Lahore on June 15,” he said.