HRCP flays trains’ closure
LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has criticised the recent decision to discontinue a number of popular train services.
In a statement issued on Monday, the HRCP said: “The decision to discontinue train services on several routes is a matter of great concern to the people especially those who still find travel by train convenient and affordable and a number of railway employees who may be rendered jobless. This matter cannot be dismissed as a mere departmental problem. The importance of the issue not only merited deliberation by the cabinet at the highest level, but also consultation with the people likely to be affected.”
“The reason cited for discontinuation of the popular services – unavailability of locomotive — is nothing short of scandalous,” it said and added that the shortage of locomotives had not occurred overnight and ending train routes was certainly not the only way to address the problem.
“The decision is bound to affect the people but also has grave implications for the state. Its attitude of riding roughshod over the matters of critical public importance is bound to undermine its authority. That a service is not generating enough revenue may be an overriding concern for a business enterprise but the state is not a village grocery store and it must honour its obligation to provide essential public services even it has to bear part of the cost.” The HRCP calls for review of the decision.