Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed said on Thursday that he had advised Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari to bring Aseefa Bhutto Zardari to the political front, instead of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
The minister said so during his appearance on Samaa TV show ‘Awaaz’. He said Bilawal was not “physically fit” to be a politician.
“A few individuals do not have the physique. Politics also require physical fitness,” he said. “I do not find Bilawal at a level of physical fitness that is necessary for a politician.”
Rasheed said the era of Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari was over now. He said that Zardari was behind the bars due to his actions, while Maryam’s politics took to the point where the former premier was.
The minister maintained that Maryam Nawaz was trying to become a leader by means of a controversial video. His remark was a reference to an alleged video of Judge Arshad Malik, the accountability court judge who sentenced Nawaz Sharif to jail and whom Maryam Nawaz says was pressured into doing so.
During an explosive press conference last week, Maryam claimed the judge was blackmailed into convicting Nawaz without any evidence and had admitted that. According to her, Judge Malik called PML-N leader Nasir Butt to his house himself to clear his conscience and she showed a video clip from their meeting.
Rasheed also said that there were clear chances for Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani to retain his position in the face of a no-confidence motion by opposition parties.
“I say this on the basis of experience that Sanjrani would fight back,” the minister said. “[His] position is not that bad, anything can happen in secret ballot.”
Commenting on the economic situation of the country, he said it could take up to two years for the economic situation and other affairs to improve.
Rasheed said he takes the electricity and gas bills to the Economic Coordination Committee meetings every month.
“The past rulers are responsible for inflation in the country today. No one in the opposition is talking about inflation, everyone is concerned about themselves,” he said.
Speaking of the railways, the minister said 36 new trains had been launched since he took over the ministry. “We eliminated Rs10-12 billion deficit from the railways.”
He said it could take two-three years in improving current situation of Pakistan Railways.
Rasheed regretted that not a single penny was spent on the infrastructure in the past. He also offered his resignation if it could bring any improvement in existing state of the ministry’s affairs.
The minister further said that an inquiry report of the Sadiqabad train crash would be furnished by Friday.