By Swair Akram —
Islamabad, Jan 27 (TLTP): Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed has summoned Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad to appear before Supreme Court in person on Tuesday along with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Aijaz Buriro and Secretary Habib-ur-Rehman Gilani to explain massive financial losses.
The order was passed by a three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by CJP Gulzar Ahmad. The top judge was joined by Justices Ijaz ul Ahsan and Sajjad Ali Shah.
CJP Gulzar also criticised the minister and said that he should do a better job. “The records are not computerised,” the bench noted. The bench berated the age-old manual record-keeping system of the Railways. The CJP said, “this means Rs75,000 could be siphoned off from Rs100,000 into own pockets with a trifle amount of Rs. 25,000 showing up in records.
The court was caustic in noting, “the stations and railway tracks are in jeopardy. Every passenger travelling by train is in danger. The freight trains are also not operating,” said the bench. “The whole institution is politicised,” the CJP observed adding, “nothing in the institution is functioning properly”.
Justice Ahsan noted the Railways have been raking in losses into the billions as is evident from its audit report. The bench expressed displeasure over this state of affairs. “No other state institution is riddled with as much corruption as the Railways”, the CJP observed.
Deploring the sorry straits of Pakistan Railways, the CJP said the railways sector was growing the world by leaps and bounds by bringing in bullet trains. He observed Pakistan was still lacking advanced passenger and goods trains. He noted other countries were running bullet trains having improved their entire infrastructure to suit needs in the modern age. The bench expressed its disappointment at the performance of Pakistan Railways. Justice Gulzar said, “a person should first travel by train before taking over the ministry”.
He also asked about the follow-up of Rawalpindi bound Tezgam express train from Karachi. Tezgam had suffered a massive fire killing 73 people in October last year. The counsel for Railways said an inquiry was currently under way.
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