Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid on Saturday warned that there could be a political shake-up in the country in the coming months, without making it clear as to what kind of changes could be expected.
“The people who believe that they are heavyweights will soon in the grip of [someone more powerful] and they will be wiped out from December 31 to February 20,” the minister, who is known for his political prophecies, predicted using his peculiar metaphorical language.
Rashid reiterated that the rallies staged by the 11-member opposition alliance, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), posed no threat to the government.
He warned the PDM against staging its power shows in Quetta and Peshawar, claiming that the terrorist organisation Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had again become active in the country with the aid of India and it could carry out attacks at the rallies.
Rashid, who heads the Awami Muslim League, dismissed the opposition’s claim that Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government would be sent packing by December or January. “He [PM Imran] is not going anywhere,” he added.
“The real issue is inflation. The prices [of food] will come down in the coming four weeks,” he predicted.
The minister also claimed that a stage would come when the PPP would part ways with the PDM.
“The PML-N is on the front foot while the PPP is thinking on better lines,” he added.
“At one point, the PPP will refuse to accept decisions that threaten democracy in the country.”
On former premier Nawaz Sharif’s repatriation from London, Rashid said the prime minister would try his best to bring the PML-N supremo back to the country.
However, he added, only time would tell if PM Imran would succeed in his efforts.
The minister further said PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has made a mistake by returning to the country. “He [Shehbaz] should have stayed abroad and enjoyed his time there.”
Rashid said a confrontation with state institutions would be spell doom for the country’s “politics”.
“The institutions are a symbol of national integrity. Criticising them will not help gain popularity because 90% of the nation salutes its soldiers who sacrifice their lives at the borders. Only 10% people with dual citizenship criticise the forces.”
In response to the minister’s news conference, PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah said Rashid was a troublemaker who spoke on all matters except the performance of the Railways, which was in ruins.
“Sometimes he claims to be the spokesperson for the military and on others occasions for the government,” the PML-N leader added.
“Sheikh Rashid is only a recipe for disaster.”
The former provincial minister claimed that the ‘Karachi incident’ had exposed the PTI government and now it was trying to cover up its tracks.