LAHORE – Railways Minister Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour has suggested a European Union-like confederation among Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, which according to him, will help eradicate terrorism, poverty and unemployment from the region.“The confederation between these countries will promote business activities, peace and brotherhood,” added ANP central leader, while addressing a press conference at the Railways Headquarters on Tuesday.Bilour, earlier, chaired the Railways Board of Directors’ meeting on the agenda of reconstruction of the public utility. Sources said the meeting remained inconclusive as some members severely opposed reconstruction of the cash-strapped department, especially at a time when it was already facing multi-dimensional problems.“I know media and some powerful segments of the society will oppose my proposal, but they will realise after sometime that co-existence and good relation among the countries are the guarantee of peace in the war-torn region. I presenting the proposal in the good of the people,” said the passionate follower of late Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bacha Khan).He maintained that Pakistan had been subjected to all sorts of terrorism, militancy, extremism and sectarianism during the past three decades, but no solution had been given to resolve the problems.He said many people were raising slogans of peace, but did not have courage to propose confederation of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan for making concerted effort to eradicate poverty, unemployment, terrorism and extremism in the region.Talking about the Railways, he said the tender for 150 locomotives would be opened on June 4, but it would take approximately two years for the completion of the whole process. Had this process been completed in 2007, situation would have been different today, he regretted.According to Bilour, the Railways’ deficit had been increasing, but the government was unwilling to provide financial support to the organisation. “Acute shortage of engines is a huge hurdle in the way of progress. Without getting 400 locomotives, the Railways cannot survive,” he made it clear.He said the government had not given a single penny out of the promised amount of Rs 5 billion and Rs 11 billion to the department. Despite this, he added, the Planning and Development Division had now approved seven projects sent by Ministry of Railways, which would be helpful for minimising the difficulties.Sharing the details of the ventures, Bilour said the Railways would purchase 40 power vans and 500 new wagons besides reconditioning 27 locomotives. A 12 km track would also be laid from Chaman to Spin Buldik, he told the reporters.He said the matter of the default of the Business Express had been referred to the ECC.To a question, the minister said he was supporting the ruling of National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza in the prime minister conviction case, adding that the decision was according to the will and wish of the people of Pakistan.