ISLAMABAD -  Former president Asif Ali Zardari will not fly to London to meet ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistan People’s Party announced on Tuesday.

PPP Information Secretary Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed said Zardari had only flown to Dubai and would come back within a few days.

“Asif Ali Zardari has left for Dubai for few days. He will be back within few days and he is not going to London,” he said, amid reports that a mutual friend was trying to fix a meeting between Zardari and Sharif in the United Kingdom.

This week, Zardari had told his close aides that the PPP would stand with the institutions as Nawaz Sharif struggled to prove his innocence after ouster for hiding assets.

Zardari has also recently refused Sharif’s indirect call for help.

Sharif was disqualified on July 28th by the Supreme Court.

The ousted PM is now facing corruption charges filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Zardari has a love-hate relationship with Sharif.

They have reconciled and fought like schoolboys after the revival of democracy in 2008.

Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) became a part of the PPP-led government in 2008 but left within months after developing differences.

The PPP continued to remain part of the Punjab provincial government led by the PML-N for much longer until being asked to quit by Sharif’s party.

When Zardari was struggling to clear his position after a controversial speech in 2015, Sharif - as the prime minister – cancelled a scheduled meeting with the PPP co-chairman.

This led to a new phase of rivalry as Zardari announced to give up the reconciliation policy and take on the government.

For some time the PML-N did not care but as soon as the government found itself in trouble post the Panama leaks scandal, the ruling party tried to woo the PPP to counter Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s aggressive opposition.

The PPP did not go as far as the PTI in attacking the government but also did not offer any olive branch.

The possibility of Zardari-Sharif meeting again surfaced as the PPP co-chairman left for Dubai from the federal capital.

There were speculations that a mutual friend was making efforts to arrange a meeting between the top Pakistani politicians.

Reports said backdoor contacts had been established between the PPP and the PML-N.

But the PPP ruled out chances of the high-profile meeting.

Zardari’s spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said: “No, there is no such meeting. He has only gone to Dubai. [There is] no chance of such a meeting.”

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the party would hold a rally on December 5 at the Parade Ground in Islamabad to celebrate the founding day of the PPP.

The PPP leader said the founding day would be celebrated on December 5 as Rabiul Awwal 12 fell on November 30th.

“Parade Ground Islamabad has been selected as the venue of the event,” he told a party meeting.

The PPP meeting was attended by former prime ministers Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf, Opposition leader in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah, Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, Senator Farhatullah Babar, Syed Naveed Qamar, Senator Sherry Rehman, Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood, Humayun Khan, Mian Manzoor Wattoo, Latif Akbar, Akhunzada Chattan, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, and Jamil Soomro.

“Different committees were also formed to arrange and organise the event,” said a PPP statement.

Later on Tuesday, Bilawal held a meeting with office bearers of the PPP Rawalpindi and Islamabad chapters.

Addressing the meeting, Bilawal said that PPP had always defeated conservatives with the help of public support and would continue to defeat them.

The PPP chief said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto loved the people and the people reciprocated that love.

He vowed to continue that tradition.

The PPP, Bilawal said, would celebrate its founding day with zeal and fervour and would send a message to conservative elements that the PPP would continue to stand in their way and bring prosperity to the people.

“PPP workers have rendered extreme sacrifices for democracy and its leaders Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto offered supreme sacrifice for the cause of democracy and betterment of the people of Pakistan,” he said.

The PPP chief instructed party workers to start working to win the next elections.

He said that only the PPP had young and energetic leadership, which could deliver for the youth.

Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Chaudhry Manzoor and Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar also attended the meeting.