US warns Pak over multi-billion rupee Chinese locomotive procurement scam

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Islamabad, July 11 (ANI): The United States has reprimanded Pakistan for the multi billion rupee Railway scam in which an US firm was denied a fair chance to secure a contract of a whopping 12.5 billion rupees.

According to The News, US Senator, Robert P Casey Jr has written a letter to President Asif Ali Zardari telling him about the massive irregularities committed by some of the Pakistan Railway Board's top officials while purchasing 75 electric locomotives from China.

The two page letter, which was delivered to the Pakistan Embassy in Washington recently, warned Zardari that the 'insufficient transparency and demonstrated irregularities' could hamper country's reputation in the international community and would seriously undermine the much needed confidence in its governing institutions.

Casey, in his strong-worded letter, has asked Zardari to stop the finalization of the deal between the Chinese firm and the Railways Ministry.

"I am concerned to hear that notwithstanding the clear pattern of irregularities in the bid process, Pakistan Railways is now moving towards finalising the purchase order. I feared that the finalisation of the tender after a process marked by insufficient transparency and demonstrated irregularities could negatively impact Pakistan's reputation in the international community and undermine needed confidence in its governing institutions," the letter stated.

"I look forward to hearing from you that how interests of my constituents are protected equitably," it added.

Despite several shortcomings, the Pakistan Railways had awarded a tender to a Chinese firm to supply 75 locomotives, and deliberately ignored the American company's bid.

However, Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar has denied receiving any such letter.

"I have not heard about it," said Babar.

Meanwhile, the top honchos of the Railways Ministry functionaries have confessed before the National Assembly's Special Committee on Railways about the alleged irregularities. (ANI)

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