LAHORE: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Saturday said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led coalition government would soon overcome financial challenges through its policies.

Addressing a press conference here at PR headquarters, he said that bad economy, price-hike and corruption were greatest challenges faced by the incumbent government.

However, he hoped, these challenges would successfully be overcome in a few months.

He said the United States (US) had decided to support Pakistan after the historical visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan which was a great success of the PTI regime, adding, the next prime minister of the United Kingdom (UK) was also a close friend of Imran Khan.

Sheikh Rashid said it was Imran who asked America that war against Iran would be a blunder which would destabilise the entire region, adding that such courage could only be expressed by an honest person.

To a question, the minister said the PM had expressed his annoyance over a PTI delegation meeting with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. He said the opposition was organising small public meetings at different places which were not any issue for the PTI government.

He said that all money-launderers were joining hands, adding, “All the big thieves are crying now."

“The prime minister is firm that no concession can be given to the looters and plunderers," he added. He said the PML-N leader Marryam Nawaz was responsible for destruction of the party.

To another question, he said that voting over no-confidence motion against Senate chairman would be tough, adding “I am seeing the success of Sanjrani."

About the railways, he said that no new train would be launched now until the completion of Main Line-1 (ML-1) project, which would be completed with the help of China.

The minister said that he had ordered for upgrading at least 10 coaches per week so that shortage of passenger coaches could be overcome and these coaches would be attached with the trains at branch lines where passengers were travelling on the roofs of the trains.

He said that 100 about-to-retire drivers had been given two-year extension in their service and during this period, 347 under-training drivers would complete their training.

He also announced cancelation of leaves for all railway officers due to rainy weather and for smooth operation of the trains.

Sheikh Rashid said that he was visiting the most deprived and mishandled railway division Sukkur from Tuesday as this division was neglected during the previous tenures.

He said all the institutions had appreciated the performance of the railways ministry as 6 to 7 million passengers had been increased besides the raise in freight due to the policies of the current setup.

He also announced construction of two new washing lines in Karachi and Lahore on emergency basis.

The minister said that possession of the Royal Palm Club had been taken over by the railways and a five-member committee under the supervision of CEO Aftab Akbar would see the matters of the club.

He said the train timings would be settled by the end of the next month.

The minister said that he would present himself for accountability at the end of the working year in November.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019