Federal Minister for Information Qamaruz Zaman Kaira says a section of print and electronic media is working against the government. “An undue media trial of state departments is discouraging foreign investment in the country,” the minister told a news conference he addressed along with Federal Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmad Bilour in Lalamusa on Friday.

Kaira said the PPP government believed in freedom of media, but the media trials were inflicting losses on the government. “The media should pinpoint weaknesses of the government but the unfair criticism, like the one on rental power projects and now on the railways ministry, has created a bad impression,” he said.

According to him, such an attitude would only stop investors from investing in Pakistan. Kaira said President Zardari was given due protocol in Lahore, and that the foreign visits of the Sharif brothers had been scheduled in advance.

Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour said the media did not listen to the problems of his ministry, but levelled baseless allegations. He said the railways had been ignored for the last three decades owing to which it was bearing an annual loss of above Rs12 billion.

He said the railways had 80 ‘sick’ locomotives which needed Rs40 million each for repair, but the department could not afford it.

Bilour said the construction of Kalabagh dam would not benefit the country. Rather, he claimed, the NWFP and Sindh would bear immense losses.

APP adds: the minister said the railways needed at least 100 locomotives for freight trains and 200 for passenger trains.

“Due to a financial crunch, the railways cannot purchase new locomotives. In this situation, it is unable to meet the requirements of passenger and freight trains. It has not received the much-needed financial help from the federal government,” he added.

The minister said a request had been submitted to China for cooperation in the development of Pakistan Railways and a positive response was expected.

He said in cooperation with China, a dual track would be laid between Khanjerab and Islamabad which would open new avenues of development in trade and tourism.