LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday inaugurated non-stop Jinnah Express train and renovation of the Railway Station in Lahore.
PM Khan thanked Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed for inviting him for inauguration of the train. He paid tribute to the minister for uplifting Pakistan Railways.
Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Sheikh Rasheed were also present on this occasion.
Premier Imran Khan said economic revolution would come when ML-I (Main Line-I that runs from Peshawar to Karachi via Lahore) will be completed.
“Motorways and arteries are for elites, while trains are for poor. The railway track the English had built has become shorter for our need,” he said. “I will ask the Ministry of Petroleum to use railway for freight, which would be cheaper transportation and economically beneficial for railways,” he added.
Prime Minister Khan said he was different from previous prime ministers who would behave like a king, issue a statement and make an announcement. He said he was a democratic prime minister.
He said the government was going to launch a health insurance programme for poor. He said all the week segments of society should get health card in Pakistan.
PM Khan said he was in principle in favour of increment in salary of labourers. He said viewing inflation salary of labourers should be increased. “I will not make false promises,” he added.
Taking a dig at the Sharif family, he said, “How they would know what tourism potential lies in the country, who would spend their vacations in London.” He said that railway would be extremely helpful in tourism. “We will spread network of trains in Pakistan with the help of China,” he added.
Jinnah Express train will travel between Lahore and Karachi in 15 hours.
Referring to the basic facility of health, the Prime Minister said the government has started Insaf Health Card scheme from the poor of the poor, which will be extended to other people. He said every salaried person should have health insurance card to have free medical facility.
Earlier, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in his address said they had repaired two hundred coaches and ran twenty-four new passenger trains.
The Minister said Lahore Railways Station has been renovated at a cost of 25 million rupees. He announced to launch Sir Syed train in a month.
Sheikh Rashid said a train will ply on upgraded ML-I at a speed of 160-220 kilometers per hour, reducing the Lahore-Rawalpindi travel distance to about two and a half hours. —NNI