Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique on Monday visited veteran politician Javed Hashmi at his residence during his visit to Multan.
Talking to newsmen at a joint press conference, Rafique said the PML-N had immense respect for Hashmi and his sacrifices for the party.
Rafique denied that the government was considering making Hashmi a senator.
Hashmi said by-polls in Multan was a media war against him and that he lost the election combat but won the “battle of democracy.”
Rafique claimed that the by-polls in NA-149 were “bought.”
“In Multan, notes won and votes lost,” he said.
Rafique praised Hashmi, claiming that he “idolised” the veteran politician since the time he was a member of the PML-N said.
“A hundred Imran Khans and a hundred Shah Mehmood Qureshis combined cannot make one Hashmi,” he added.
“Democracy needs Hashmi,” the railways minister said.
He said Khan believed that Hashmi’s political career was over with his defeat in the by-polls but he was mistaken.
“Imran lost moral grounds,” he said.
Rafique addresses workers convention
Rafique also addressed a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz workers convention at the Multan Arts Council and said the country could only make progress through the power of the parliament.
“Use of force will never lead to development,” he said.
“The government did not surrender to the Taliban, it will not bend to the will of some stick-wielding ideologues
Rafique said Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan was inciting hate.
“Khan is impatient,” he said. “The PML-N government works instead of holding public rallies. People criticise us because we are working on a number of development projects.”
He said he was responsible for the province where his party had formed a government.
Rafique said if Khan had any proof of money laundering by the PML-N leadership, he should have moved court against them.
He said PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) sit-ins were meant to stop Chinese investment in the country.
The railways minister observed India signed a $20 billion agreement with China. He said the Chinese president could not come to Pakistan due to security issues created by protesting parties.
He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would address the nation to announce a strategy for putting country on back on the track for progress and development.
He said the prime minister would visit China and sign agreements for massive investment in the country.
Rafique also criticised the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for ignoring merit in various state-owned departments.
PML-N workers chanted slogans of “Ro Imran Ro’ during the presence of Saad Rafique. The workers also climbed on to the stage after the Saad Rafique ended his address.
The minister also inaugurated Moosa Pak Express at Multan Railway Station.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2014.