Sheikh Rashid gives credit to PM Imran for getting bailout package

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Sheikh Rashid gives credit to PM Imran for getting bailout package

LAHORE: Pakistan Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that due to the untiring efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan, China, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) gave a bailout package to stablize Pakistan's economy.

Prime Minister Imran Khan's foreign visits have definitely saved Pakistan from being defaulted, he said and added the

prime minister was working day and night to put the country on road to progress and development.

Talking to the media after a ceremony held at PR Headquarters to sign an agreement between PR and National Railway

Administration (NRA) China regarding ML-1 project, he said that revolutionary measures taken by the government to steer the country out of crises including economy would yield positive results within next six months.

The minister said that change of strategy was not a U-turn but a strategical change was needed, adding that he

could give a number of examples when Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had changed his statements or strategies.

He said that opposition parties including PPP and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz were heading towards their gradual political death, adding that some corrupt political elements would not last till March 2019 and the country's politics would enter into a new era, he maintained.

About Prime Minister Imran Khan's response on United States President Donald Trump's statement regarding Pakistan,

Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said that Imran Khan's response was a practical manifestation of peoples' aspirations.

The government has put special measures to bring modernization and further improvement in Pakistan Railways,

adding that Chinese companies should give a lesser amount of interest rate in order to complete PR uplift projects.

Today, the investors from Germany, Turkey, and other countries were showing interest to invest in Pakistan, he maintained.

The minister said that previous governments had looted national exchequer and caused damage to national institutions, adding that no attention was given on upgradation of railways, track, availability of locomotives, expansion in freight trains, but the present government has taken measures to put railways back on the track.

To a question on Circular railway in Karachi, Sheikh Rashid said that PR had only 40 to 60 percent share in Circular

Railway and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) was taking this matter forward but if PR was given the task of operationalizing Circular Railway, it would take action to end encroachment and would adopt measures to provide the people safe shelters, he added.

To another question, the minister said that it was a difficult decision to approach the International Monetary Fund

(IMF) for a bailout but it was needed to address the mounting balance of payments crisis.

The previous PML-N government had left difficult economic conditions for the country, due to which the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government had decided to take measures to bring the country out of the economic crisis, he concluded.

APP