Death toll in Pakistan train collision rises to 23

Pakistani local residents gather around the wreckage of carriages at the site where two trains collided in Rahim Yar Khan district of Punjab province on July 11, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 12 July 2019
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Death toll in Pakistan train collision rises to 23

  • “Rescuers have pulled out all the dead and injured from the wreckage,” a senior Pakistan Railways official said
  • PM has asked the railways minister to take emergency steps to counter decades of neglect in railway infrastructure

ISLAMABAD: The death toll from a train collision in central Pakistan rose to 23 on Friday after several people succumbed to their injuries overnight, officials said.
The incident took place Thursday in Rahim Yar Khan district in Punjab province when a passenger train coming from the eastern city of Lahore rammed into a goods train that had stopped at a crossing.
The accident saw mangled carriages flipped on their sides and left debris strewn by the sides of the tracks as rescuers used cranes to enable them to pick through some of the twisted wreckage.
“According to the latest updates available with us, the death toll rose to 23 overnight after more people died of their wounds in different hospitals,” a senior Pakistan Railways official told AFP.
He said a total of 73 people were still being treated for injuries.
Another senior railways official confirmed the toll and said, “rescuers have pulled out all the dead and injured from the wreckage.”
“We are now focusing on quickly clearing the track,” he said, adding that an investigation has already been ordered.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked the railways minister to take emergency steps to counter decades of neglect in railway infrastructure and ensure that safety standards are upheld.
Train accidents are common in Pakistan, where the railways have seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.


No change in instructions on purchase of foreign currency by banks, clarifies central bank

Updated 22 July 2019
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No change in instructions on purchase of foreign currency by banks, clarifies central bank

  • Some media outlets misinterpreted the updated version of Foreign Exchange Manual, causing confusion
  • Commercial banks cannot replace exchange companies, says Malik Bostan

KARACHI: Pakistan’s exchange companies would continue to play their role in the country’s economy, clarified the State Bank of Pakistan on Monday, noting that there was no change in the instruction on purchase of foreign currency notes by banks who were already allowed to deal in international currencies through authorized branches.
The confusion was caused when some local and foreign media outlets misinterpreted the updated version of the central bank’s instructions in its Foreign Exchange Manual, thinking that the country’s currency exchange companies were being drive out of business and commercial banks were going to assume their role. 
“SBP is in process of revision of Foreign Exchange (FE) Manual in phased manner. In this respect, seven chapters (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 & 20) of FE Manual have been revised and circulated through FE Circular dated November 29, 2018, in the first phase. In phase II, three chapters 8, 9 & 11 have been revised through FE Circular No. 03 of 2019 dated July 16, 2019,” a statement issued by the central bank said. 
One of these revised chapters, 11, includes regulations on “Dealings in Foreign Currency Notes and Coins etc. by the Authorized Dealers (banks).”
“With respect to revised Chapter 11, it has come to our notice that there are some confusions/misinterpretations regarding Para 2 suggesting that SBP has allowed the banks to sell/purchase foreign currencies to/from public by amending the existing regulations,” the SBP said while clarifying that no such amendment had been made.
Currency dealers also said they were playing a vital role for the country’s economy "that cannot be downplayed."
“Banks were already authorized to undertake foreign exchange currency business through authorized branches, but they did not take interest in currency dealing which is evident from the fact that only a few of them established such branches,” Malik Bostan, president of the Forex Association of Pakistan, told Arab News on Monday.
Bostan added that “we are operating on meager profit that commercial banks can’t afford to make.”