PESHAWAR: Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed here on Sunday inaugurated the high speed ‘Rehman Baba Express’ train to facilitate the people travelling between Peshawar and Karachi.
He announced that two VVIP non-stop trains would also be launched in the next two months as well as three trains for tourists to boost national economy.
The train, having 10 economy class coaches and a brake van, will run between the Peshawar and Karachi with a total journey time of 26 hours and fare of Rs1,350.
It will pass through various cities including Nowshehra, Attock, Rawalpindi, Wazirabad, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Rohri, Nawabshah, Hyderabad and Landhi.
The passengers travelling in the Rehman Baba Express on the first day (Sunday) will pay half the ticket.
While speaking at the inaugural ceremony, the minister said that anti-corruption measures were necessary otherwise it could damage foundations of the nation. He said that Rehman Baba Express was a gift from Prime Minister Imran Khan to the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The train has capacity for 880 passengers.
Sheikh Rashid said that entire rail track from Karachi to Peshawar would be upgraded and passengers would soon be able to travel from Karachi to Peshawar in eight hours. He said that three trains would be launched for safari tourism as well.
The minister said that during the first 100 days of the government, 20 trains were launched and as many would be launched next year. He said that 20 more trains would be run next year to facilitate the passengers.
He said that the number of freight trains was being increased to boost economy of the country. He said that two VVIPs nonstop trains would also be launched in the next two months besides starting three trains for tourists.
The minister said that Jahangira and Nowshera railway stations would be developed under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. He said that encroachments would be removed from rail tracks to ensure smooth rail service across the country.
Sheikh Rashid said that Pakistan Railways had recently launched nine trains including Sindh Express, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai Express, Lahore-Faisalabad Nonstop, Mianwali Railcar, Rawalpindi Express, Mohenjodaro Express, Rohi Express and Dhabeji Express.
The minister said that people had voted for Imran Khan so that corrupt elements could be put behind bars. He criticised the opposition parties and said that the people involved in corruption were crying as they had to face accountability.
He said that PML-N leaders had weakened foundations of the country by looting national wealth but even then they were crying just to save their skin but it was not possible.
The minister said that selection of Shahbaz Sharif as public accounts committee chairman having the status of federal minister was against the national interests because he was facing many corruption charges and the investigators would face problems to grill him.
Provincial Information Minister Shaukat Yousufzai, Railways Chairman Raja Sikandar Zaman, General Manager Aftab Akbar and Peshawar DS Waqar Ahmed were also present on the occasion.
Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2018