Minister of Railways Azam Khan Swati accepted responsibility for the Ghotki train accident on Monday.

“Being a top official (minister for railways), I take responsibility for this train accident. The other senior officials working under me also take responsibility,” Swati said when asked whether he would tender resignation from his ministry since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), when in Opposition during the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, had sought the resignation of former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique over train accidents, reported Dawn.

Swati also held all those responsible who, in his words, were involved in corruption and did nothing for the improvement and betterment of railways during the last 25 to 30 years.

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“This track is stuck like a bone in our throat. We can neither eat it nor throw it out. I admit that the safety of passengers at this track is compromised,” the minister admitted.

Meanwhile, Swati arrived at the crash site to oversee the rescue operations. Swati said if his resignation meant the deceased can come back to life, he was ready to do so. He assured that those found responsible in the Ghotki train crash will be punished. 

Talking to Dawn, Swati defended the induction of new trains in the existing fleet, saying the move was the need of the hour to enhance railways’ revenue.

“Whether we launch new trains or not, we see ourselves at the losing end. There is also confusion whether to rehabilitate or replace this track with a new one,” he argued.

The Ghotki train accident took place after a track’s welding joint broke, causing the Millat Express train to crash onto a down track, says an initial investigation report into the crash, as reported by Geo News.

65 people were killed and over 100 injured during the wee hours of Monday when Sir Syed Express and the Millat Express collided in Pakistan’s Dharki town near the Mirpur Mathello Railway Station.