OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE - LHC Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh Wednesday resumed hearing of the case challenging the purchase of US manufactured locomotives by Railways. Continuing his arguments Barrister Ali Zafar Counsel for PR submitted that there was acute shortage of locomotives in Pakistan as a result of which PR?is unable to properly, safely or in a timely manner transport the passengers and freight across the country and getting loss on daily basis. Zafar added that in case of Pakistan Railways, almost the entire fleet consists of US manufactured locomotives and for technical reason and to ensure the safety of its passengers, these are the only standardized locomotives which can be purchased. Consequently, he argued, that tenders for purchasing of 150 US manufactured locomotives as replacement for redundant locomotives which have outlived their life were floated. He added that even the Central Development Working Party and ECNEC have approved American locomotive purchase. He argued that only US manufactured locomotives are of heavy duty AC/AC or AC/DC type like Boeing/Airbus in the aircraft manufacturing industry. These locomotives have proven track record of 50 years excellent performance. He referred to documents to show that Pakistan Railways can only purchase those locomotives which are compatible with its infrastructure of workshops, engineers, plants, tools, drivers, technicians and labour. The Court also inquired from Zafar that if it is possible to streamline the process of procurement of locomotives further by allowing the Government to directly negotiate with the manufacturers instead of going through agents. Zafar submitted that this may not be possible in view of the requirement of the law that the procurement must be through tendering process. He, however, stated that Pakistan Railways would be happy to be able to negotiate directly with the manufacturers if allowed by law. The Court has summoned the PR General Manager Operations to appear before the Court on the next date of hearing. Further hearing of case would be held on January 21 when Ali Zafar will continue his arguments.