Saad Rafique stresses consensus, dialogue for political stability

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Railways and Aviation Khawaja Saad Rafique on Tuesday stressed the need for developing consensus and initiating dialogue for political stability in the country.

Talking to the media after appearing before an accountability court here, he said that political stability was a responsibility of all stakeholders.

“The federal government alone could not bring about political stability if the provincial governments did not cooperate,” he added.

He questioned whether the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab governments extended cooperation to the federal government during the recent floods, adding that they did not bother for even coordination though they were supported by the centre. He said that differences exist between the governments, but they should become one on the public and national issues.

Saad Rafique said that for steering the country out of crises, all political parties, judiciary and establishment would have to come together on one point. He said that resolution of the economic crisis was the biggest challenge and it was only possible through a charter of economy. All political parties must reach consensus on a charter of economy, which should also be backed by the state institutions, he suggested. He said that no one could be excluded from politics through imprisonments or disqualifications. A politician becomes redundant because of his lack of public service, he added.

The federal minister said that Imran Khan had pushed the country to the brink of default and it was a great success of the coalition government to save it from further disaster. He said that the coalition government had assumed the power to save the country, and not for the sake of merely gaining power. He said it was for the first time that national parties and regional parties were united under the banner of PDM [Pakistan Democratic Movement] for the rule of law and democracy.

He thanked the Supreme Court for transferring all cases of Pakistan Railways to its principal seat.

As per directions of the apex court, a comprehensive and transparent business plan would soon be submitted in the court, he added.

He said that four decisions came during different periods, which restrained the Railways from the use of its land. He said that other than the core business of railways, Indian, Bangladesh and European railways also make money from non-core business. He said that Pakistan Railways had land and properties which could help it meet its expenses. “If we would not utilise the Railways land in a transparent and commercial manner, then its expenses could not be met,” he added.

He said that the Railways could meet its expenses through proper utilisation of its properties and land, laying of optic fiber on the basis of revenue sharing, branding and utilisation of rolling stock, and efforts were being made on all these fronts.

“If support of institutions becomes available to Railways, our speed of work and progress can be doubled,” he added.
Earlier, Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique appeared before an accountability court in connection with the Paragon City case.

Accountability Court Judge Qamar-uz-Zaman conducted the case proceedings and adjourned the hearing till January 23. (APP)