LAHORE: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid has said the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz has destroyed her party by unveiling alleged videos of an accountability court judge.
“In Pakistan the politics of leaked videos is over. Instead, the videos are backfiring. Maryam is acting like Porus ki Hadhni [a self-destructive force]. No one would stand by her in connection with the video scandal,” Rashid said while addressing a press conference at the PR headquarters in Lahore.
The railways minister was talking with reference to the recent videos – made public by Maryam last week – in which Islamabad Accountability Court-II Judge Arshad Malik confessed that he was blackmailed into convicting former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia case on December 24, 2018.
To a question as to whether after so-called confession of the judge – who has also been removed from his position – the Islamabad High Court will overturn his verdict in Al-Azizia case, Rashid said: If the verdict in Al-Azizia is struck down, then Nawaz Sharif will be convicted in Flagship case [in which he was acquitted by the same judge].
He said judges are honest, respectful and truly professional people and they should not be made controversial by any party. “The Pakistan Army and judiciary are custodians of democracy and security of Pakistan.”
Rashid also claimed that the upcoming ninety days would be important in the national politics. “There are two groups in the PML-N – one is striking a reconciliatory tone while the other is prone to fighting “and the one wising to fight will be crushed.”
The minister said there is no space now for Sharif and Zardari families in politics. If opposition members get seven-year imprisonment for wrongdoing, then government members should face 14-year jail term
Rashid also claimed that ‘a king’ had asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to spare Nawaz Sharif but the the premier rejected the suggestion immediately
He predicted that Senate chairman election would be very tough. However, Sadiq Sanjrani will once again win. To a question about strike by traders, he said peaceful strike is right of every citizen.
Earlier, while talking about the recent train accident in Rahim Yar Khan, he expressed his sorrow over the deaths of 24 persons. He said an initial action against driver, assistant driver of the train and station master had been started.
"All divisional superintendents have been directed to complete interviews for drivers’ recruitment so that shortage of drivers could be overcome. The minister said the current railway administration has reduced Rs5 billion deficit and six million more passengers have expressed their trust in the railways.
He said a new train Mianwli Express from Lahore would be introduced soon. He said the railways has collected 278 damaged coaches from several places and out of them 100 coaches would be reconditioned.
He said escalators for old people would be installed at railway stations. "Our main focus would be on improvement of the track in future which would be a milestone in the history of the railways," he said.
The minister said cameras would be installed in the locomotives for security of trains. He said all railway crossings would be changed with underpasses or flyovers for safety of the people.
He said infrastructure of the railways was neglected during the last 10 years. “M-2, M-3 and M-4 would also be upgraded soon and tenders in this regard had been floated in newspapers.