ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party yesterday decided not to support Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s campaign to seek Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation even when Bilawal Bhutto Zardari advised his father Asif Ali Zardari against meeting the premier in London.

Outlining the priorities, the PPP dissolved all its provincial organisations down to the district level replacing them with a five-member organising committee in each province to recommend the re-organisation within three months.

Sources said the party decided to formulate issue-to-issue strategy in consultation with PTI in the parliament instead of following Imran Khan-led party’s all-out assault on the government.

Senior PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira told journalists after the party’s core committee meeting here that the party had constituted legal and parliamentary committees over the Panama leaks as it was a ‘serious’ issue.

Kaira said the legal committee would look into the legal aspects while the parliamentary committee would contact the opposition parties to devise a joint strategy on the Panama Papers.

He said the PPP wished the PM good health but he must defend the allegations against him. “We don’t want to indulge in the blame game. We will take decisions after consultations with all parties,” he added.

Kaira said Senator Rehman Malik had faced many trials in the past and the PPP had always been a victim of such campaigns. “We don’t mean to attack anybody. We mean just trial,” he said.

The PPP leader said Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan was unnecessarily trying to make CPEC controversial. “We don’t want to make emotional statement. This is a big project and we don’t want to play politics on it,” he maintained.

Kaira said the central organisation is intact while the incumbent office-bearers in Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and tribal areas will also continue to work.

Addressing the participants of the meeting, Bilawal said he was deeply perturbed that the government despite its promise had failed to initiate process of meaningful investigations and now there were reports that the judges may not be willing to work as members of inquiry commission.

The Panama leaks, he said, brought a bad name to the country and severely undermined the moral authority to govern.

“The issue will not die down and must not be allowed to die down and the government must be pressed hard for impartial and credible investigations,” he added.

The PPP chief said the party cannot remain oblivious and must vigorously pursue the issues raised in Panama leaks to the logical conclusion. “The more the government evades the issue the more it will be chased and haunted by it,” he contended.

Other PPP leaders said the meeting decided the party will not demand resignation of the prime minister until the investigation was completed but the government will be pressurised to investigate the matter.

A senior PPP leader, who attended the meeting, said the party will not take part in the sit-in proposed by the PTI outside Prime Minister Sharif’s house in Raiwind to demand the PM’s resignation.

Earlier, Bilawal telephoned Zardari and discussed the controversy arising out of the Panama Papers. A PPP leader said Bilawal advised Zardari not to meet the prime minister as it could “damage the party interests.” Bilawal told Zardari that other PPP leaders were also against the possible meeting.

Other sources said Zardari also received calls from party leaders who opposed his possible meeting with PM Sharif in London. Most of the PPP leaders believed a meeting with Sharif at this time would dent the party’s image.

Prime Minister Sharif’s visit to Britain yesterday - ostensibly to undergo a pending medical check-up - has set political circles abuzz after he landed in controversy following the Panama Papers.

At a time when PTI chief Imran Khan threatened to march toward Nawaz Sharif’s residence in Raiwind, leaders of the opposition had been casting doubt on the reason for the prime minister’s sudden visit to London. The movement of Asif Ali Zardari, who is also in London, is being closely monitored by the people back home.

London has become hub of Pakistan political activities in the aftermath of Panama leaks as Imran Khan would also be in the city this week and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will reach there on April 15.

Last day, in a bid to give tough time to Nawaz Sharif’s government on Panama leaks, PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi held a meeting with PPP leaders Aitzaz Ahsan, Khurshid Shah and Saleem Mandviwala to discuss a joint strategy. The two sides agreed to cooperate to give tough time to the government.

PTI leader Jehangir Tareen also met with Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam) leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. The PML-Q leader echoed the demand of other opposition leaders that the issue can only be resolved with PM’s resignation. Reportedly, Imran also signalled to summon All Parties Conference to launch a movement against the government.

The PPP core committee meeting – held to discuss the Panama leaks and the party’s reorganisation – was briefed by Khurshid Shah and Aitzaz Ahsan over the political developments.

PPP spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar later said all party organisations down to the district level in all the provinces and South Punjab had been dissolved and replaced with a five-member organising committee at the provincial level in each province to recommend to the chairman PPP on the re-organisation issues within three months.

He said the decision was taken when a delegation of senior party leaders called on Bilawal.

Bilawal, he said, had decided to set up a four members committee comprising leaders of opposition and party’s parliamentary leaders both in the National Assembly and the Senate and tasked it to reach out to other political parties for the setting up of a parliamentary committee with full powers to pursue investigations into Panama leaks, including powers to call for forensic investigations through international forensic experts.

He also appointed a four-member committee of legal experts to advise him on the legal issues involved and the course of action to be followed for the purpose of undertaking full investigations in a transparent and credible manner into Panama leaks.

“The party leaders were unanimous in expressing the view that the issue must be pursued vigorously till its logical conclusion,” he said.

Babar said the issue of reorganisation had been lingering on for quite some time and Bilawal had announced during the party’s Central Executive Committee meeting in Larkana this month that he will soon announce a decision in this regard.