LAHORE: Pakistan Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique on Monday urged the media not to manipulate facts regarding PR Eid special operation in news reports.
Addressing a press conference here at PR headquarters, he said that transport always bring passengers from big working cities to small cities and towns on festivals across the world.
He said the present PR administration revived and strengthened the custom of Eid special train operation by operating maximum number of trains on Eid in the history, as earlier only 3 or 4 trains had been operated on Eid days as a token.
He said that few passengers were travelling to Karachi on Eid special trains while data showed a well number of passengers coming up-country from Karachi to celebrate Eid.
The minister said 217 passengers travelled from Karachi on July 11 on Eid special train, 327 on July 12 while 450 seats were reserved for passengers for Eid special from Karachi on July 13.
He said that criticism was not fair on such a big operation, rather there was a need to appreciation or encouragement.
He said that facts should be shared and pin point of bad things was right but baseless criticism would damage the national department and about 22.5 million passengers could left railways which the PR had got back after a big effort of two years.
He said the PR had successfully controlled its expenditures and brought down the deficit and a record figure had been achieved in freight and passenger sectors.
He also announced 50 percent reduction in fare for downward Eid special trains on July 14, 15 and 16 to attract more passengers on these days while all Eid special trains had been allowed stopover at Multan and Sadiqabad railway stations.
He sought support of media against mafia and criminals working against the PR.
To a question about the Gujranwala train accident, he said several baseless and untrue reports had been published and broadcasted in the media, however, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) would not be pressurised and it was expected the JIT would present its report before Eidul Fitr.
It is pertinent to mention here, the PR had already reduced fares for all trains and all classes by 30 percent on Eid day and the next day.
PR Chairperson Parveen Agha, Chief Executive Officer Javaid Anwar Boobak, Advisor Anjum Pervaiz and other senior officers were also present.