Pak Railways on right track


PAKISTAN Railways (PR) has become one of the few shining examples of success of the present Government in managing affairs of an organisation, which was otherwise at the verge of virtual collapse when the present Government assumed power in 2013. Railways Minister Saad Rafiq deserves highest appreciation for his performance. His announcement in the National Assembly was well received when he declared that upgradation and improvement of PR have led to an increase in its income, which would touch Rs 40 billion this year.
It is not the income alone as contrary to his predecessor Ghulam Ahmed Bilour who, on a number of occasions, publicly declared that Pakistan Railways was incorrigible and that it requires gigantic funding to restore it. Khwaja Saad Rafiq did not seek even a penny from the Government and made a difference by way of innovation, honesty and hard work. Railway was in such a messy condition that many thought there was no way-out except to privatise it but now trains are running with full capacity, their punctuality has improved and quality of food being served is also satisfactory. No doubt, it will take some time more for PR to become a profitable entity, delivering as per expectations of the people but what has so far been gained should serve as a model for other Ministers. Unfortunately, the present Government callously remains uninterested in institution building as most of the departments and organisations during its era have remained without heads while some others like Pakistan Steel, PIA have been allowed to perish despite the fact that they could have been reformed like Pakistan Railways. Similarly, majority of cabinet colleagues of Saad Rafiq are just enjoying perks, privileges and are least interested in improving performance and output of their ministries or departments under them. If PR can be improved without financial injection from the Government then there is no reason why ills in other departments can’t be addressed. Things can definitely change if there is sincere and committed leadership.