LAHORE - Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique on Wednesday said that the power of vote would have to be accepted and the politicians should be allowed to play their role as there was no place for technocrat or Martial Law rule in the country.

“Nobody could be ousted from politics through Martial Law, executive order or court decision,” he said while speaking here at the Lahore Railway Station during his visit of Azadi Train.

He said that democracy was the only way for the country’s better future and a change should only be made through power of vote. “Only vote can bring change in the country which came into being after a democratic political struggle,” he added. The former Prime Minister, he said, was demanding nothing for himself. The decision of a common man would have to be accepted, he remarked, adding, that millions of people came out to join Nawaz Sharif’s rally.

“Everybody is equal. The vote of a person living in a 10-kanal house is equal to that of a cottage dweller,” he said.

He said that the ‘great game’ being played by international powers in Pakistan would not be allowed to succeed. Pakistan, he said, would not be allowed to become Egypt, Syria, Yemen or Afghanistan.

The Minister said those, who had staged the drama of ‘disqualification’ would be ashamed of their mistake one day. “If politicians drag other politicians in courts then democracy will not flourish”, he observed.

He said that PML-N did not want to get Imran Khan disqualified as a leader could not be kept away from the people.

“A leader distances himself from the people when he pursues the path like that of Asif Zardari”, he said while criticising the politics of PPP chief.

He said that PML-N’s political movement was not aimed at creating anarchy in the country nor was it aimed at targeting any one.

He said providing shelter, food, security and other necessities of life to 200 million people was not an easy job for a government. The Minister admitted that terrorism had not been eliminated completely, he said.

Still a lot of work was to be done for achieving the goal, he added.

Saad said Nawaz Sharif was disqualified when economy was getting better while work on the CPEC was going on.

Talking about the Pakistan Railways, he said when he took over charge of the PR, its annual income was Rs 18 billion while now it was earning Rs 40 billion per annum which would be increased to Rs 53 billion by June 2018.

He appreciated the PR staff and officers for their hard work for the revival of the department.

He said that under the CPEC project, Lahore to Karachi rail travel time would be reduced to 11 hours from 18 hours within next five years. He congratulated the PR staff for running the Azadi Train.

Earlier, he took round of every compartment and float of the train. PR CEO Javed Anwar and Adviser Anjum Pervaiz were also present on the occasion.