MURTAZA Wahab speaks to the media.—PPI
MURTAZA Wahab speaks to the media.—PPI

KARACHI: A senior official in the Sindh government on Tuesday alleged that the ministry of railways was reluctant and seemingly “refusing” to run the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), as the federal government lacked resources required for executing and completing the project.

Speaking to reporters at the Sindh Assembly, Barrister Murtaza Wahab, adviser to the chief minister on information and law, said the Sindh government had fully supported and made serious efforts for the revival of the KCR but, “unfortunately Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in a meeting held the other day showed his reluctance to revive the project”.

“The Sindh government will run the KCR with whatever meagre means it has and financial issues our government is facing due to stoppage of its fund by the Centre,” he said.

Railways ministry is asked by the provincial government to provide over a 100 train’s carriages

He said that the Sindh government had sent a letter to the railways ministry asking the latter to provide the required 102 train’s carriages.

“Our government will modernise the KCR in compliance with the directives of honourable courts,” said the chief spokesperson for the provincial government.

He said since 2016 the Sindh government had been making efforts to revive the KCR and with the efforts of the Sindh chief minister the project was included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He added that the federal government had been promising to support and made its contribution in the revival of the KCR.

Wahab takes a swipe at Shaikh Rashid

Barrister Wahab said the railways ministry was facing a deficit of Rs28 billion that falsified the tall claims of Minister Rashid regarding improvement in the efficiency of the Pakistan Railways.

“It seems Sheikh Rashid wants to be the information minister,” he quipped.

He said one could easily guess from the performance of the railways minister that “he even does not fulfil the criteria of Divisional Superintendent of Railways”.

Barrister Wahab said that the movement of the Pakistan Peoples Party against the policies of the present government was not aimed at forming its own government at the Centre.

He added that the opposition parties had a consensus on a single point that the policies of the federal government had devastated the economy of the country.

Details of Police Order to be shared with courts

Answering a question, he said details of the Police Order recently passed by the Sindh Assembly would be shared with the court.

He said that an impression that a government servant, the inspector general of police in this case, had the authority to make legislation was utterly incorrect as it was the provincial assembly that made laws.

He said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman should not run its affairs through press conferences as it was a violation of the code of conduct and an attempt to make the whole process of accountability controversial.

“The NAB chairman should inform the nation about the investigation of BRT Peshawar and billion-tree tsunami case,” he said, referring to the two controversial projects of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said NAB was not functioning properly as its conviction ratio was miserably poor.

Mr Wahab said the “disastrous effects” about the country’s economy were emerging as the recent State Bank of Pakistan’s report showed that the country’s debts had risen to Rs35 trillion.

He said the PTI government had done nothing to provide relief to a common man in its 10-month rule. On the contrary, “our prime minister is pacifying nation not to get worried by rubbing salt into the wound”.

He said the policies of the prime minister had broken the backbone of the people.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2019