LAHORE    -   Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said yesterday that people of occupied Kashmir were willing to offer any sacrifice – even their lives – for liberation from India and no power on earth could defeat them.

Addressing a news conference at Railways Headquarters here, he said people of Pakistan had blood relations with Kashmiris and would respond to any call given by Srinagar. He said he would hold public meetings during next few days to express solidarity with Kashmiri people.

The Indian prime minister, he said, had defamed democracy and violated his country’s constitution by annexing occupied Kashmir on Aug 5.

He said all Indian Muslims were looking towards Pakistan and it was incumbent upon all Pakistan to raise voice for their Muslim brethren in India.

Appreciating Kashmiri people’s determination to liberate themselves, the minister warned the world not to make any miscalculation about them. He said even China was with Kashmiri people and opinion of President Trump was changing.

About atrocities being perpetrated in occupied valley, Sheikh Rashid said that Prime Minister Modi had set a worst example of fascism. He was all praise for Prime Minister Imran Khan for highlighting Kashmir dispute at international level.

He was confident that the PTI government would complete its five-year term.

Critical of Maryam Nawaz’s policies, he said she had destroyed the party.

As for politics of Mian Shehbaz Sharif, the minister said he was facing a difficult situation as on one hand was Maryam’s policies and on the other his own politics. Perhaps, he said, he would not be able to save either.

Answering a question, the minister said that Chinese president Xi had personally told him that he had met only one army chief in his life and he was Gen Bajwa. The minister said he had launched 30 new trains as a result of which railways performance had witnessed tremendous improvement.

Sh Rashid said ghost employees were being discouraged. For this purpose, he said, the biometric system had been introduced in the department. Those not marking their attendance through this system would not get salaries, he maintained. He said all TLA employees would be regularized.