LAHORE - Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed on Saturday said  developed countries with mature economies are struggling in the face of massive implications of corona virus pandemic, but assured that Pakistan government, despite its limited resources is tackling the issue boldly through effective planning and timely measures.

He said that the Pakistan Army and the government were on the same page regarding the issue of lockdown. While addressing a press conference at the PR headquarters, the minister said that the stance of Prime Minister Imran Khan about lockdown was clear that the country could not meet the challenges of long-term lockdown, adding that ISPR also issued the same statement.

However, he said that big disasters were test of the leadership, adding that some leaders like PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif were just criticizing the government, while sitting in front of laptops. To a question,the minister said that Railways was ready to operate 20 special trains from April 14 if the prime minister would grant his consent.

Commenting on the proposed corona relief Tiger force, Rasheed said some people were politicizing the issue, adding that not a single penny would be spent on the force and it was being formed to serve the people.  He said that train transport would be made operational after adopting full protective measures. "We are working hard and the Railways will fulfil the requirements and standards of the masses," he added.

He said that salaried persons and pensioners of Railways would not be affected and they would get salaries as well as pensions as per scheduled.  To a question about figures of coronavirus in different provinces, he said that no difference should be made among provinces as the coronavirus disturbed every province of the country. Rasheed said Railway continued its operation despite pressure during early days of the pandemic in the country just for the reason that citizens could return to their homes towns without facing travel problems. To a question about lockdown in Indian Occupied Kashmir, the minister said that the nation was standing with its brothers in IoK.