UNFORTUNATELY, there is no end to train accidents in Pakistan.
As they continue to claim the life of innocent passengers, the country’s political leadership doing nothing more than expressing grief and sorrow over them.
The wee hours of Monday morning saw yet another train tragedy taking place in Ghotki which killed over fifty people and injured one hundred others.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his shock over the incident and ordered an investigation into it.
Just like the past, the inquiry, in our view, will not be more than eyewash and lead to mere suspension of some employees of Pakistan Railways.
The latest accident is a stark reminder of the poor infrastructure of the railways which consists of weak rail tracks, an erratic signal system and decaying rolling stock.
In addition, no attention whatsoever has been paid to improving and enforcing passenger safety protocols.
Promises were made by successive governments including the incumbent one to bring reforms in Pakistan Railways and improve its service, but nothing has been done so far.
Rather what we see in the wake of such horrific incidents is the blame game amongst the political parties which amounts to rubbing salt on the wounds of the victim families. There should not be political point scoring on such incidents.
And before another tragedy occurs, the decision makers must wake up from the deep slumber and pay attention to upgrade the existing infrastructure of the railways.
One fails to understand as to why the upgradation of railway infrastructure from Karachi to Peshawar under six billion dollars ML-1 project has hit a snag. Three years of this government have passed but work on it could not be started.
The Chinese friends have always been forthcoming in investing in different sectors of Pakistan and this ML-1 project is of immense importance if we really want to keep our trains on the track and provide a safe journey to our passengers.
We, therefore, will urge the government officials to engage immediately with China to remove bottlenecks in the launch of this strategically important project.