PESHAWAR - Federal Minister for Railway Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said that despite huge burden of Rs90 billion debt on Railways department, no increase has been brought in railways fares and that was the reason that one can travel in Rs1,350 from Peshawar to Karachi.

“We are now working to restore Safari train service to Torkham via Shalman route and steps would be taken to restart train from Dargai and Mardan,” he remarked while addressing a press conference at Peshawar Cantonment Railway station on Saturday.

Rashid further added that no new engines would be purchased for the sake of taking commission and making money. He said that railways have burden of Rs25 billion, Rs35 billion pension and Rs30 billion under the head of salaries, but despite all of these hurdles, they had not increased the fares and introduced direct service of Rahman Baba Express from Peshawar to Karachi.

He informed that a new VVIP train equipped with modern facilities would be launched from Peshawar, while the number of trains would also be increased from eight to 15. He said that Peshawar-Karachi railway track would be crossing free, which would facilitate the passengers to great extent.

The minister told that a new track through Shalman area would be lined-up till Torkham border very soon, which would be aimed to start Safari train service from Peshawar to Torkham. He added that new station would be constructed in Attock and Jhangera, which would cater a large number of passengers to travel by rail.

Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad criticised designating opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif as chairman Public Accounts Committee and said that the biggest thief has been handed over the affairs of the Public Accounts Committee.

He also come down hard over the government decision regarding production order for Shehbaz Sharif and Saad Rafique during their physical remand and said that he has never seen such an assembly, which allows thieves to attend session.

He lamented over the state justice system in the country for upper class and said that influential people are first arrested and later they are shifted to hospital.

Regarding Pakistan People’s Party protest movement in case of its leader arrest, Sheikh Rashid said that these protests would just be a trailer of the movie not the original film.