LAHORE - Pakistan Railways has signed an agreement with Maple Leaf to transport cement of the company from Daud Khel to Karachi.

Railways GM (Operations) Anjum Pervaiz and Maple Leaf representative Saeed Sehgal signed the agreement at PR Headquarters here on Monday. Railways Minister Khwaja Saad Rafique was also present on the occasion.

Initially, the agreement has been signed for a period of three years and Maple Leaf would deposit security of Rs650 million. The freight trains utilised for carrying cement would bring coal on the way back from the port city and provide to different power plants in Punjab and Sindh, said a statement issued by PR.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister said they would soon purchase 75 locomotives and 75 percent among them would be utilised for freight operations.

 He said the supply of coal to Sahiwal would start after two and half years. He also condemned the Karachi airport attack, terming it as an attack on the country’s economy. Saeed Seghal said that they decided to sign the agreement after witnessing improvement in Pakistan Railways.

Earlier, the minister presided over a meeting with NESPAK, discussing modernisation and up-gradation of Peshawar, Sahiwal, Okara and Narowal Railway Stations. Another meeting on Kashmir Railways was also chaired by the minister and attended by the Railways BoD. The meeting discussed the proposed Islamabad-Murree-Muzaffarabad Rail Link Project.

Furthermore, the railway management, in a letter to Awami Muslim League (AML) Sheikh Rasheed, has refused to provide a single coach for his proposed train march on June 20. “We cannot provide a single coach to the AML march because the other passengers in the train will have to face delay, instead the railways can facilitate Sheikh Rasheed with a special train in exchange of total expenditure,” read the letter. Sheikh Rasheed has been requested to send his representative to discuss the further details with the department in this regard.

This is worth mentioning that Sheikh Rasheed announced a train march from Rawalpindi to Lahore on June 20 to record his protest against the PML-N government.