LAHORE: ICMD, Nov 9, 2010:

Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid has claimed that former president Asif Ali Zardari will soon strike a plea bargain and start returning money to the government in the next three to four months.

Mr. Shaikh who addressed the media at Railways Headquarters on Saturday said that as a result of the plea bargain, all cases against him would be abolished.

About the government’s decision to remove Nawaz Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL), he said the decision was taken on medical grounds. He prayed that may Allah Almighty give health to Nawaz Sharif. He said the former premier is on bail and the cases against him were not closed. He said Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz would not go abroad with her father as her passport was in the custody of the court.

The minister said, “Cases against Asif Ali Zardari, PPP leader Khurshid Shah, PML-N leaders Hamza and Suleman Shahbaz were very important.” He said their cases would be closed through plea bargains.

While commenting on Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Azadi March sit-in, the minister said staging a sit-in is more problematic than going to jail. He said those parties which wanted to cash in the JUI-F sit-in have done so.

While commenting on the Tezgam tragedy, the railway's minister said the DNA tests of the deceased had been completed. Only two families had not undergone the test as one family was in Saudi Arabia and the other refused a DNA test. The minister said 19 officers, including policemen of railways, have been suspended over the incident.