Mamnoon travels by train

TRUE to his identity as a Pakistani leader, who is fond of simple lifestyle, President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday travelled by train from Lahore to Rawalpindi to encourage Pakistan Railways and send a positive message to people of Pakistan about quality of service and reliability of the Railways. At the end of the journey, he expressed satisfaction and delight over improvement made in Pakistan Railways system, its performance and service.
In the past, different presidents and prime ministers indulged in publicity gimmicks by travelling in commercial planes but it is after a long time that head of the state preferred travelling by train, which is demonstration of confidence in Railways, which has excelled under the leadership of Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq. Only four years back, people had lost hopes of revival of Pakistan Railways as the then Minister was expressing helplessness and demanding billions of rupees to undertake the task. It is known to all that tracks were sold during his era and there was rampant corruption and mismanagement in the department. Similar were conditions when Sheikh Rashid was assigned the portfolio, who did nothing for improvement except painting of old compartments and giving them new names. Another Minister added scrap in the name of bogies and engines. As against them, Khawaja Saad Rafiq completely transformed PR without seeking funds from government, brought down its losses and increased its income. There were times when railway tickets were sold in black market but trains ran empty. Now there is greater transparency and people can get tickets online. Most of the trains depart and arrive at their destinations on time and quality of service including food has improved a lot. Tracks, bridges and crossings have been improved and number of freight trains increased leading to remarkable increase in revenue. There is also a comprehensive plan for upgradation and expansion of railway network under CPEC, the completion of which would help revive the glory of Pakistan Railways as the favourite mode of travel.

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