ISLAMABAD - Top Pakistan People’s Party leadership is pinning hopes on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to stop the party’s alleged ‘selective accountability’ which could explode into a political confrontation, sources said.

The opposition party – that rules in the Sindh province - is furious with the authorities for allegedly launching a targeted accountability operation to victimise the party members.

Last month the National Accountability Bureau initiated corruption probes against former Sindh education minister Pir Mazharul Haq, former federal communications minister Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan and former Balochistan minister for excise and taxation Mohammed Amin Umrani. Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan’s wife Asma Alamgir, a former legislator, is also included in the list.

Earlier, PPP co-Chairman Zardari’s close aide Dr Asim Hussain was arrested amid protests by the party. Other top party leaders, including former prime ministers Yousaf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf are also facing corruption charges.

Zardari, who is too in the net although never convicted, believes the NAB was focusing on suppressing the PPP. Other party members also suspect NAB’s sincerity to eradicate corruption.

Now, the NAB has taken up the issue of embezzlement in last year’s Sindh festival and began investigations against the Sindh provincial government led by the PPP.

The Bureau has summoned details from the Accountant General of the alleged corruption worth Rs2 billion in the cultural festival organised in Moenjo Daro in February 2014. PPP Chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had announced to pay the festival’s bills from the party’s fund but the payment was never settled.

A senior PPP leader told The Nation the party has approached Prime Minister Sharif to stop victimisation of the party in the garb of accountability.

“Firstly, we sent the message indirectly and now we have reached him directly. If the one-sided process is not stopped, it could give rise to political confrontation which we don’t want,” he added.

The PPP leader said Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari feel ‘some elements’ were conspiring to defame the party and corner it.

He said a propaganda was unleashed to label the PPP as a regional party of Sindh, adding: “Everybody knows we are a national party with roots among the masses. Attempts are being made to damage our credentials but these conspiracies will fail.” He repeated the party stance that the NAB was seeing all evils in the PPP and trying to implicate its senior leaders on ‘fictitious’ charges.

“Prime Minister must intervene to avoid confrontation. The government claims NAB is independent but what we see is a totally different story,” the PPP leader contended.

PPP Spokesman Senator Farhatullah Baber said the party did not believe in a knee jerk response but will not tolerate baseless allegations.

He said the PPP enjoys popular support and fabricated cases cannot bring the popularity graph down.

Senator Baber said the PPP was not against accountability but wanted the process to be fair and across the board.

If the one-sided accountability continues, he said: “The PPP knows when and how to give a response and will give a robust response when the time comes.”