Rawalpindi - Federal Minister for Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafique, has inaugurated new rake of Awam Express on Wednesday at Rawalpindi Railway Station, informed a spokesperson.

Awam Express, operating between Peshawar and Karachi, is a long-route train that covers long distances in Pakistan. The jaunt takes nearly 33 hours and 30 minutes to cover a published distance of 1,721 kilometres travelling along the entire stretch of the ML I, he added.

The new rake consists of new flooring, panelling, public address system and a digital destination board. New curtains, window units and lavatory accessories have also been installed.

The rake, whose up gradation cost has been Rs 25 million, contains 11 economy coaches, 3 AC standard coaches, 1 Brake van, 1 luggage van, 1 AC dining car and 1 power plant. The up gradation of facilities and service quality will greatly benefit the passengers of Awam Express.

Khawaja Saad Rafique, while talking to media, said that Railways department has upgraded the Awam Express with revenue of Rs 100 million. He assured that the work for restart rail service between Rawalpindi and Kohat is under process.

He said that the revenue generated by the Railways had increased from 18 billion in 2014 to Rs 40 billion in 2017.

Adding that the railways had to retrieve its lands from the clutches of land mafia, the minister said that the government is planning to establish 14 new railway stations across the country.

Commenting on Panama Leaks issue, Khawaja Saad Rafique said that the Prime Minister was ousted from his office on charges of a salary he never received while those who grabbed Royal Pam were roaming freely with no action being taken against them.

He said the corruption references regarding Business Train are still pending with NAB but are not being interrogated.

“Sheikh Rashid is a political clown and one should not take his statements seriously,” he said.

“After the disqualification of a democratically elected PM, investors are reluctant to invest money in Pakistan in an unstable political climate,” he added. The Minister said it was a sign of Day of Judgement that a corrupt man like Asif Ali Zardari has been given clean chit from accountability court but Ex-PM Mian Nawaz Sharif was punished for a crime he never committed.

He said the meeting between Former Chiefs of ISI and RAW in U.K. had not harmed the sovereignty of Pakistan. He also added that ex-General Ashan was the architect of a bloodless coup in October 1999.

 

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 12-Oct-2017 here.