LAHORE: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad has rejected the India’s request to review decision of closing down rail operations of Samjhauta and Thar express trains.
“Though a final decision will be taken by the Foreign Office over the request to review closure of the trains, I reject the India’s request. And till the time I remain as minister for railways, there would be no operation of Samjhauta and Thar express trains,” the minister told reporters at a press conference here at the PR’s headquarters on Saturday.
He said the rakes being used for Samjhauta and Thar would now be utilised for local express trains in the country. However, at present, these rakes would be used for the Eid special trains.
To a question about extension to the army chief, he said he didn’t know about the decision of Imran Khan. “The prime minister will make a decision in this regard. The COAS is a gentle and a friendly person and he has good coordination with the PM. They both are two wheels of the same vehicle,” he said.
Talking about the situation in the aftermath of the change in Kashmir’s status, he said Modi had committed a blunder by taking this step. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Turkey, Malaysia, OIC and the UN have raised their concerns over the decision.
“Modi is playing the role of Hitler and he will have to face the music one day,” he said.
Talking about the PR’s operational activities, the minister said the passengers, who would travel through current reservations during Eid days, would get 50 per cent discount.
He also announced extending route of Sindh express to Multan.
He said within the next 15 days, the PC-1 and feasibility study of ML-1 (main line-1) - a CPEC-funded project - would be approved. He appealed to the students to raise voice in favour of Kashmir as soon as they resume study after summer vacation.
Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2019