Rashid retorts he feels honoured to be army spokesman

Updated 26 Sep 2020

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Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid said he feels honoured to be a spokesman for the Pakistan army and meeting the army and ISI chiefs is a matter of pride. — DawnNewsTV/File
Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid said he feels honoured to be a spokesman for the Pakistan army and meeting the army and ISI chiefs is a matter of pride. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid says he feels honoured to be a spokesman for the Pakistan army and meeting the army and ISI chiefs is a matter of pride.

He warned the opposition parties — the PML-N, the PPP and the JUI-F — to be careful as “there will be doomsday if he reveals the telephonic data / record... “

“For instance, I have disclosed something about the meetings (between politicians and the military leadership). And if I reveals telephonic data / record (about such meetings), doomsday will come,” he said at a tree planting ceremony where he spoke to journalists here on Friday.

“Sometimes your meeting (with the military leadership) prolongs and I keep waiting in the waiting room,” he took jibe at the opposition.

Answering a question about JUI chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s address at a ceremony on Thursday wherein he asked the military leadership to confirm whether or not Sheikh Rashid was its spokesman, the minister said: “I am proud to be a spokesman for the Pakistan Army. I feel honour that I am standing shoulder to shoulder with the army. And I want to die as shaheed (martyr).”

He said it would be an honour for him to meet the COAS and the ISI chief. “If I want, I can even make the data / record of Pervez Musharaf (the data related to politicians’ meetings with Musharraf) public,” he warned.

“They (army) say that they are working for Pakistan by contributing their efforts for Bhasha Dam, Neelum Jhelum Project, coronavirus, ML-1, locusts, floods and even cleaning the drains. So what is the problem if they are doing such jobs as they are doing this for Pakistan,” he said.

He castigated Nawaz Sharif’s speech and said it was Maryam Nawaz who had her father politically killed. “And now she is doing the same acts,” he added.

Rashid announced that he would organise rallies wherever the opposition alliance plans to do so in future.

As for his department, he admitted that he couldn’t do whatever he should have done for the PR workers. He claimed to have reduced the cost of the ML-1 project from $9 billion to $6 billion. “Though the mark up ratio on CPEC is 2.2 per cent, we will pay 1 per cent on ML-1 funding / loans under the project,” he added.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2020