LAHORE: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid says food streets will be established at seven major stations in the country in collaboration with China.

“For this, we plan to float tenders,” he told reporters after inaugurating four economy passenger coaches in the rake of VIP train — Jinnah express -- and a pharmacy at the Lahore railway station on Tuesday.

“Similarly, we also plan to construct mega shopping centres nearby major railway stations in collaboration with the private sector.” He said Lahore would have separate waiting halls for male and female passengers. The minister said the services of entire temporary/work-charged employees have been regularized.

About the political situation, Mr Rashid said the government should have ignored Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s march. “I have spoken in the cabinet meeting that our media policy (with reference to Maulana’s march and government’s point of view) is not correct. We are giving unnecessary attention to Maulana. If they want to come to Islamabad, let them come,” he said.

The minister said the next two months were important with reference to the country’s politics and he would give his final opinion between October 23 and 26. He believed that the issue of Azadi march would be resolved, as those experts in talks and settling such issues were in contact with Mr Rehman. “Actually Maulana sahib requires face saving. And I hope a middle way would emerge in this regard,” he added.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2019