PDM resignations will not harm assembly, Sheikh Rasheed says

LAHORE: Federal Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed dismissed on Thursday the Opposition’s threat to resign from the assembly, saying it wouldn’t have any impact on the lower house of Parliament.

“The resignation will not harm the assembly,” Rasheed said while talking to the media in Lahore. He was also unfazed by the PDM’s long march to Islamabad and told them they are welcome to the federal capital and the winters will be waiting for them.

“[Prime Minister] Imran Khan has made an offer – come to the assembly and hold a dialogue,” said the railways minister, adding that if the Opposition should clarify who they want to speak to if not Imran Khan.

“Those with whom you want to negotiate are against Nawaz Sharif’s statement,” said Rasheed. He added that “whatever” the situation maybe, it will not benefit the PDM.

The minister said no politician closes the door to dialogue.

He said he expects good news for Imran Khan after December 13.

The railways minister also hoped that not all members of the Opposition will resign from their seats. He said if they resign, they will not get the “benefits” they are getting in jails and will be treated like “C Class” inmates.

Rasheed, who is a close ally of PM Imran Khan, was hitting out at the PDM two days after JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman asked all Opposition parliamentarians to send their resignations to their party heads by December 31, as the PDM gears up to hold its rally in Lahore on Sunday.

“All Opposition lawmakers, from the national and provincial assemblies throughout the country, should send in their resignations to their respective party leaderships by December 31,” said the JUI-F leader and the PDM chief, flanked by PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz.

The PDM president said that a standing committee of the Opposition’s alliance will be held which will decide the schedule of strikes, protests and jalsas in various divisional headquarters of the country.

“It will also be decided when to hold the long march [against the government] and its date will also be decided,” he said.

Fazl said that the PDM’s upcoming Lahore jalsa will be a “historic” one, and will prove to be the “last nail” for the government.