LAHORE - Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed says the way the Army is backing Prime Minister Imran Khan is unbelievable.

At a news conference here on Saturday, the minister said the fruits of PM’s US visit had started pouring in and the government would soon overcome financial challenges through its policies.

The minister said the prime minister would take to task the party leaders who had met MMA chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman without seeking permission.

Criticising Maryam Nawaz for the role she is playing at present, he said she had destroyed the party. He said that bad economy, price-hike and corruption were greatest challenges faced by the incumbent government. However, he hoped, these challenges would successfully be overcome in a few months.

He said that all money-launderers were joining hands, adding “All the big thieves are crying now.”

“The prime minister is firm that no concession can be given to the looters and plunderers,” he added. He said the PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz was responsible for destruction of the party.

To another question, he said that voting over no-confidence motion against Senate chairman would be tough, adding “I am seeing the success of Sanjrani.”

About the railways, he said that no new train would be launched now until the completion of Main Line-1 (ML-1) project, which would be completed with the help of China.

The minister said that he had ordered for upgrading at least 10 coaches per week so that shortage of passenger coaches could be overcome and these coaches would be attached with the trains at branch lines where passengers were travelling on the roofs of the trains.

He said that 100 about-to-retire drivers had been given two-year extension in their service and during this period, 347 under-training drivers would complete their training.

He also announced cancellation of leaves for all railway officers due to rainy weather and for smooth operation of the trains.

Sheikh Rashid said that he was visiting the most deprived and mishandled railway division Sukkur from Tuesday as this division was neglected during the previous tenures.

He said all the institutions had appreciated the performance of the railways ministry as 6 to 7 million passengers had been increased besides the raise in freight due to the policies of the current setup.

He also announced construction of two new washing lines in Karachi and Lahore on emergency basis.

The minister said that possession of the Royal Palm Club had been taken over by the railways and a five-member committee under the supervision of CEO Aftab Akbar would see the matters of the club.