LAHORE: Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid has hinted at more arrests from the opposition, including former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, in the coming days.
He also claims that former finance minister Ishaq Dar would be brought back to Pakistan from the UK in the next seven days.
“Whosoever is crying these days is about to be arrested. Ishaq Dar too will be brought back soon to Pakistan from the UK. He will be here before my next press conference next week,” he told journalists at a press conference on Saturday.
The minister also faced reporters’ anger over the misbehaviour of Pakistan Railways (PR) chief executive officer (CEO) with a senior journalist last week over the reporting of a derailment at the Lahore railway station. As soon as the minister started the press conference, the journalists urged him to summon the CEO for tendering an apology.
Although the minister tried to pacify the journalists by apologising on behalf of the CEO, they did not agree and boycotted the press conference. However, they returned after sometime and condemned the minister for not behaving with them appropriately.
Continuing his presser, the minister said a forward bloc of 37 PML-N MPAs was almost formed in the Punjab Assembly. However, the bloc in the National Assembly only had a handful of members so far. “In the PA, the bloc still needs seven more members to be effective,” he added.
Rashid criticised PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz for creating troubles for her family. “Maryam Nawaz Sharif is the person who put the PML-N government into great troubles. If she wants to do a public meeting, she can, as it doesn’t matter for the government,” he added.
Talking about the ongoing development in the railways, he said several chunks of benami property worth billions belonging to the PR had been detected. On the instructions of the prime minister, the Mianwali Express would be launched on July 19 between Lahore and Mianwali.
He further said the PR had taken over administrative and functional control of the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club on Saturday. “There will be no problems for the club members, as they can carry out their routine activities there. We have also issued a direction against allowing entry of any person, including non-member PR officers, to the club.”
The minister revealed that the PR would soon send corruption references to the National Accountability Bureau about launch/operation of Business and Shalimar express trains.
Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2019