Monday, December 11, 2023

A foreign firm has urged the government to settle the Azakhel dry port issue

Pakistan Railways authorities are allegedly bound to terminate prematurely a 3-year contract given last year to a foreign carrier for handling cargo at the dry Azakhel port, although the case is under the jurisdiction of the Court.

This action, supported supposedly by its Minister Azam Swati, might be considered as an attempt to undercut Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in financially stuck Pakistan.

The three-year contract was signed in 2020 by the Qatarian company Al-Zahid Heavy Equipment. The initial payments have been approved.

However, in July this year the railway authorities released a fresh tender unexpectedly for the same project, without any legitimate grounds.

The actions performed hurriedly indicated the other reasons for the attempt to provide the contract, supposedly to a favourite railway minister’s business. Sources claimed thus.

In the absence of involvement by the government in Al-business, Zahid’s Qatari, annoyed by the act, filed a lawsuit before a civil court in Lahore issuing restraining orders. The trains were later able to dismantle the residence order.

On August 10, the multinational company sought the Court to “see the majesty of law” again, suspending the instructions issued by a deputy railway superintendent and the minister.

In their appeal, the firm stated that the public entity received its “usufructs and monthly payments” according to the award.

In the meantime, a Pakistan Railways spokesperson disputed the claim that the Minister favoured his personal individuals and stated that the Railroad Department was attempting to enhance the jobs. The Speaker stated all of that was intended for operational betterment.

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