The Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of alleged Rs60 billion corruption in the Pakistan Railways on Saturday. The top judge also summoned railways secretary and board members along with the audit report.
Chief Justice Nisar remarked that the officers will appear before the court and give reasons for the losses worth Rs60 billion. “Why shouldn’t we also summon Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique,” remarked the CJP.
He observed that Indian former railways minister Lalu Prasad was not well-educated yet he made the Indian Railways very profitable. “Today, the reforms brought about by Lalu Prasad are being taught at Harvard University,” he added.
On the other hand, in Pakistan, the railways is only said to be profitable only in rallies. “But the claims are far from reality,” he remarked, asserting “This is not a kingdom where people are free to do as they please.” Responding to the notice, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique remarked that his team has worked day and night to keep the department away from nepotism and corruption. “We brought the railways, which was breathing its last breath, back on its feet,” he shared on social media.
Rafique also remarked: “We tell people the truth in our rallies. We never said that railways [department] is making a profit. The condition of railways is much better than before.” The department which used to generate Rs18 billion now generates Rs50billion, Rafique added. “The performance of Pakistan Railways can’t be measured in a single audit report. The auditors always have reservations but it doesn’t necessarily mean its corruption.”
He shared that it was saddening to hear court’s remarks over the performance of Pakistan Railways, adding that he will be willing to brief the court over the five-year performance of the department.
“After hearing about our performance, even the court will commend us,” Rafique added.