LAHORE          -       Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said yesterday that JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s sit-in had been used by PML-N and PPP leaders for their own interests.

Talking to reporters here, Sh Rashid said the protest campaign launched by the Maulana had been used for major opposition parties PML-N and the PPP. He said former Kashmir Committee chairman had no future. In his opinion former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur would not go abroad, despite claims by the party leadership to the contrary.

Before media talk, Sh Rashid inaugurated Jallo Shuttle Service – from Lahore Junction to Wagah. The shuttle train comprises two economy class coaches and a power van, and will cover the distance of 30 kilometers in one hour. Lahore-Gujranwala and Raiwind-Gujranwala shuttle services are also in the pipeline.

The minister said that Jallo Shuttle train was being restored after 22 years and credit of the train went to the PR chairman, chief executive officer and railway employees. He said train culture would be restored which was beauty of the city.

Prime Minister Imran Khan would inaugurate Gujranwala Shuttle train in January, he said and hoped that the prime minister would also inaugurate rehabilitation of the Main Line-1 (ML-1) soon. “The PC-1 of the ML-1 is under progress which will be finalised in February and March 2020,” he said.

The minister said that after completion of ML-1, the entire 1,875-kilometres track from Peshawar to Karachi would be fenced and entry would not be possible on tracks, adding that speed of the train would be 160km/hour which would cover the distance from Lahore to Karachi in just seven hours.

The minister said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s politics will stand wrapped up if he supported those who were being tried by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on various charges.To another question, the minister said: “Country’s reputation has been damaged due to the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) incident.” He said the nation was in mourning due to Punjab Institute of Cardiology incident. “Everyone is feeling pain after the incident,” he added.

“Indian PM Narendra Modi is playing with fire and blood, therefore, tension between both countries will increase in future.”

“Rumors are being spread regarding Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Every political party wants appointment of its own chief election commissioner (CEC).”

He said political parties should resolve issue of CEC’s appointment through mutual understanding. He said Election Commission office should be apolitical if parties wanted transparent elections.The minister said he did not think Maryam, Faryal Talpur and Bilawal would be allowed to go abroad.

He said Asif Zardari was a director of Omni Group and involved in money laundering, adding that Bilawal Zardari was also one of the directors of the company even at the age of 18 and below, and involved in the money exchange matters.

The minister hoped the government would successfully overcome inflation and price hike issues in the country in two to three months.

He said Fazlur Rehman had admitted for the first time that Nawaz and Zardari got benefit from his sit-in. The minister added that Fazl was deceived by the PPP and PML-N leadership.

He said it was duty of Pakistanis to struggle for Muslims in India and especially in Indian-occupied Kashmir.