The Sindh High Court issued notices to the federal government, railways ministry, provincial government, Pakistan Railways Cooperative Society and other respondents to appear in court on August 10 for hearing of a petition filed against the privatisation of Pakistan Railways.
The bench on Monday was hearing a constitutional petition filed by the head of Anjuman-e-Islami, Haji Gul Ahmed, who said that Pakistan Railways is on the brink of disaster and contrary to the national interest the respondents may try to privatise it, like Karachi Electric Supply Company and Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited.
Referring to a report by the Auditor General of Pakistan, he said that Railways faced corruption of Rs5 billion in a single year. This huge corruption was conveniently ignored and no corrective measures like removal of officials were taken, argued Ahmed.
Pointing out allotment of 400 prime plots to railway officers in PR Cooperative Society, he alleged that corruption of unspecified dimension is swallowing all resources of the organisation.
Instead of fighting corruption, another Rs2 billion has been injected which will also go to waste and burden the already overburdened national coffers. The petitioner pleaded to the court to restrain the federal government and other respondents from privatising the Railways.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2011.