Islamabad Politics Monitor:
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday took suo moto notice of over Rs60 million alleged corruption in Pakistan Railways and summoned Railways Minister Saad Rafique and the secretary concerned on April 12.
A two-member bench headed by the chief justice heard the proceedings of the suo moto case. The CJP remarked that in public, claims were made of the institution making profits but the situation on the ground was quite different.
The court directed the railways’ officials to appear before the court with relevant documents and apprised the court regarding the reasons for the losses.
The CJP applauded Indian Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and said that despite being illiterate, he made the railways a profit earning institution in India. “His theory is now taught in Harvard University,” he claimed.
Responding to the court’s decision in a series of tweets, Saad Rafique said that his team has worked day and night to rid the Pakistan Railways of corruption and nepotism.
Responding to the SC summons, Rafique said it is not fair to use just one audit report to draw conclusions about the railways’ performance and/or the existence of corruption in the sector.
The minister tweeted that he never made any claims about the profitability of railways and has never lied in rallies.
“I am deeply aggrieved by the CJP’s remarks,” said the minister, adding that he was willing to present himself for a briefing over the five-year progress of the railways.
The minister said that there has been a marked improvement in train punctuality and the overall internal situation of the sector. He tweeted that the court cannot draw a reliable conclusion about the institution’s performance on the basis of just one audit report.
“The auditors always have reservations but that doesn’t necessarily mean its corruption.”