LAHORE: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid says Prime Minister Imran Khan does not believe in the politics of reconciliation despite the fact that opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif wants to go for it.

He says Shahbaz has to go to jail finally since his company (PML-N) has been rejected.

“Actually, Shahbaz Sharif wants to go for reconciliation but Imran Khan is not interested in such a deal,” he said while responding to queries here at a press conference.

“I had told you earlier that Tarzan (NAB) will return after Eid. And at the time of NAB’s raid at Model Town, Shahbaz Sharif was hiding inside a room in his house. So I tell you clearly that he (Shahbaz) will be captured,” he claimed.

Since return from London a couple of days before start of the lockdown in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak, the opposition leader spoke on various occasions about devising a comprehensive action plan and a joint strategy by the government and opposition to combat the spread of the pandemic. He also used to monitor the Covid-19 situation in the country through internet, laptop etc and issued instructions to his party leaders to play their due role in this regard.

He was hiding in a room during NAB raid

However, the government did not bother about his offer, alleging that he wanted some relaxations in the cases against him. Finally some ministers, especially Sheikh Rashid, started saying that the NAB would return after Eid to hunt both opposition and ruling party leaders in various cases.

The railways minister said the opposition parties were just appearing in the media.

“The opposition is depending on media. It is no more. It is involved in corruption. Through you people (media), I gave a message to Shahbaz not to come back from London, otherwise he would be arrested. But he returned. So I am saying that he will be captured since the cases against him are of serious nature,” Rashid claimed.

He said Shahbaz Sharif was, perhaps, doing all this for the popularity of his company (PML-N). “But I tell you that a stamp of rejection has been embossed on his company.”

He said all those involved in sugar and wheat crisis would be behind the bars soon. And Sharif family too would be captured in the sugar scam.

Rashid further expressed doubts about Nawaz Sharif’s medical / lab reports on the basis of which he went abroad for his treatment.

“I think some forgery has been committed with his reports,” he said.

As for the government’s decision about terminating services of the entire Steel Mills employees, he said since the case was in court, the government would follow the court judgment.

He accused the oil marketing companies of creating shortage of petrol in the country by stocking it in bulk.

“Actually the oil prices are expected to rise soon. Petrol is cheap now and they (OMCs) have stocked oil in bulk just to sell at higher prices in future,” he added.

Talking about railways, he said his department had stocked oil for thirty days. He announced five per cent discount on online reservations in passenger trains and 10 per cent in goods trains. He said the PR wanted to add 10 more trains to its existing fleet of 40 Up/Down trains.

“But we have postponed this plan temporarily. However, we are attaching one passenger coach with the rakes of all 40 trains running at present to facilitate passengers,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2020