A video is going viral on social media showing a Pakistani train driver and his assistant making an unscheduled stop to purchase yoghurt near a railway station in Lahore. In the video, the driver’s assistant collects the yoghurt from a street stall before climbing back into the carriage. The incident has raised the safety and regulation of railways in Pakistan, where accidents due to mismanagement and neglect are common.
The two railway personnel have been identified as Rana Mohammad Shehzad and his assistant Iftikhar Hussain. After the video went viral, Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati on Tuesday suspended the driver and his assistant.
“When you stop a train in the middle (of the tracks) it becomes a safety issue. Safety is our priority. We cannot tolerate anything which compromises safety,” Syed Ijaz-ul-Hassan Shah, a spokesman for the railway ministry, told AFP on Wednesday.
After the video clip invited criticism of the railways department, which has been in trouble of late due to various issues like accidents, passenger safety and declining revenue, the minister took action and ordered the Pakistan Railways Lahore administration to suspend driver Rana Mohammad Shehzad and his assistant Iftikhar Hussain.
”I will not tolerate such events in the future and allow anyone to use national assets for personal use”, the minister warned in a statement.
Earlier in December, a ban was imposed on the use of mobile phones by locomotive drivers and assistants while on a journey, the report said. They had also been barred from taking selfies, recording video and audio messages on their phones in all trains (passenger and goods).