Dawood to bail out Pakistan Railways?

The cash-strapped Pakistan Railways is seeking financial help from underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Updated: Jan 13, 2011, 09:46 AM IST

Mumbai: India’s most wanted gangster Dawood Ibrahim is once again in the news with reports claiming Wednesday that Pakistan Railways (PR) - facing a serious cash crunch - has approached him for a bail out.

As per media reports, senior Pakistani politicians with active assistance from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) have approached Dawood to help out the troubled lifeline of the country with liquidity to help it tide over the crisis.

The report gains credence as the state owned railways is known to be facing a huge cash crunch leading to a shortage of fuel which even resulted in the cancellation of many services - Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has cut down oil supply to PR after a cheque of Rs 700 million issued by the latter bounced.

The situation has remained precarious despite the federal government approving a bail out package of Rs 11 billion of which Rs one billion have been earmarked to improve Railway`s fuel reserves.

But what seems to have triggered the SOS call to Dawood is the stalling of several freight trains across the country, simply because they ran out of fuel.
As per a Pakistani newspaper, 30 freight trains with 4,085 rakes loaded with goods are stranded across Pakistan.

Interestingly, other than the goading by the ISI, Dawood seems to have a personal cause of concern in the development as many believe that a major chunk of the goods on the stranded trains belong to his front companies.
Dawood has been, for the record, ‘underground’ after a Red Corner Notice was issued by the Interpol in connection with his terror activities.

Operating out of Karachi, he has built a business empire running into thousands of crores. It’s said that Karachi Stock Exchange will collapse if he pulls out all his money – Dawood is surely one of the largest players in the Pakistani economy.