ISLAMABAD – The PPP leadership is not ready to compromise on dual office issue of President Asif Ali Zardari and legal team of the party is preparing a strategy to deal with the case, it is learnt.

On the other hand, the PML-N has decided to give a tough time to the ruling PPP at all available forums, including the media.

Sources in the PML-N confirmed to TheNation that they have evolved a multi-pronged strategy to play up this weakness of the ruling party that faced a blow in the verdict of the apex court in the Asghar Khan case wherein the court had explicitly defined the role of President to be impartial and not leaning towards any particular party or group.

Sources in the PML-N said that the party leadership has tasked the vocal party MPs with highlighting the issue. This way, they, in the TV talk shows, would put on the defensive the PPP MPs who are taking a swipe at the PML-N leadership for their alleged role in rigging the 1990 elections to steal the PPP mandate, sources added.

Sources said that the PML-N would also weigh their option to move the apex court or take the matter to the Election Commission of Pakistan and their legal team would come up with a final decision in a day or so.

It was further decided in the PML-N Core Committee that Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, Ch Nisar Ali Khan would give a policy statement on the floor of the House on Monday. He would also address a press conference in the Parliament House to expose the PPP and would come up with counter-attack on PPP by giving details of the alleged misuse of the Intelligence Bureau’s secret fund in 2009 to topple the PML-N government in Punjab, sources said.

PML-N sources further said that the party, by moving the apex court, will seek early hearing of the IB’s secret funds misuse case.

On the other hand, the PPP leadership is prepared to press the point that nobody could stop the democratically elected President from taking part in politics and they would fight it out in the court of law.  A senior party leader, who is close to the Presidency, said that the verdict in the Asghar Khan case has perturbed President Asif Ali Zardari, but still he is in no mood to relinquish any of the two offices – neither Presidency nor party’s co-chairmanship.

The background interviews with PPP leaders and the information shared by the party sources transpired that the PPP leadership may stretch the matter on dual offices of the President beyond the next general elections and in this connection the legal wizards are already preparing a strategy.

However, sources admitted, that since the taking up of the dual office case by the Lahore High Court, all the party activities were halted at Aiwan-i-Sadr or at least the official spokesman has stopped giving official press releases of the party meetings being held at the Presidency.

A senior party leader, on condition of anonymity, admitted that the dual office case taken up by the LHC has disturbed their elections strategy and the party has deferred the plan of President Zardari’s public addresses in central and southern Punjab cities.

To a question, he said that so far no plan of relinquishing co-chairman’s office by President Zardari is under consideration and if at any stage the President would be required to relinquish one of the two offices, he would prefer to step down as President of Pakistan and would retain the office of co-chairman of the party.

To another question, the PPP leader said that in case the party leadership required him to stay in the office of President, then the most appropriate choice for the slot of co-chairperson would be Faryal Talpur as practically after President Asif Ali Zardari she has assumed the most powerful position and over the period she has proved her mettle as a sharp and shrewd politician.