LAHORE    -    Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed claimed on Saturday that the PML-N would split into two factions in the near future.

Talking to reporters here, he said Shehbaz Sharif, the current PML-N president, had views similar to his.

This is the first time that a minister has talked of the bifurcation of the PML-N. The party has been going through tough times since its government, led by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, served out its five-year term on May 31 last year.

However, its members have been maintaining unity in their ranks.

The minister claimed that the PPP leaders were also thinking of surrendering some money to get relief from the cases.

It may be pointed out that a few days ago ARY had claimed that talks were going on with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for recovery of money from him. The channel had claimed that the former premier could be out of jail in two to three months. Sheikh Rashid was critical of the Indian prime minister for his policies against Muslims. He predicted that 22 Pakistans would emerge out of India.

The minister stressed that India will be divided into ‘22 Pakistans’ if it makes a mistake to wage war against Pakistan. The solution of Kashmir issue through bilateral talks is in interest of both countries, he added.

Sheikh Rashid said all political parties are getting on the same page regarding the Kashmir issue, and maintained that Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman will join him in Kashmir march.

Talking about Pakistan politics, Sheikh Rashid said some well-wishers of former president Asif Ali Zardari are talking about a deal, and urged Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to adopt the same approach. Prime Minister Imran Khan will not give NRO to anyone at any cost, he declared.

Sheikh Rashid announced to reduce fare of Jinnah Express by Rs500 from September 6, and to inaugurate Bahawalpur Railway Station on the same day. Rains in Sindh impaired the railway system and the downpours damaged freight trains more than passenger trains, he said.