ISLAMABAD   -   Influential Pakistan People’s Party leader Faryal Talpur was arrested yesterday - days after her brother Asif Ali Zardari was detained by the National Accountability Bureau.

The NAB, however, declared her house a sub-jail. She will be presented before the accountability court today and the Bureau will seek her physical remand.

The PPP protested against the arrest. Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is already planning a campaign against the government along with other opposition parties.

Zardari was arrested this week by the NAB in the money laundering case. The PPP co-chairman surrendered before NAB after the Islamabad High Court rejected his and Faryal Talpur’s pre-arrest bail plea in the money laundering case.

Zardari and Talpur were on interim bail for more than two months, and since March 28, they got extended their bail five times. NAB is conducting investigations in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the money laundering of billions through fake accounts case wherein it forwarded the Joint Investigation Team report with directions to investigate and file references.

Earlier, the case was being heard in a banking court in Karachi but that was later shifted to an accountability court in Islamabad upon an appeal by the NAB. The former president had decided to file a bail petition in the Supreme Court and his legal team has prepared an application in this regard.

Last year, authorities discovered several accounts in the name of poor people that had been flooded with cash, then suddenly emptied. The Supreme Court established a commission in September to investigate the scourge, finding that at least $400 million had passed through "thousands of false accounts".

Zardari has repeatedly dismissed allegations he had a hand in the scheme. Always shrouded in controversy, Zardari - who was once jailed for 11 years for corruption - stepped down from the president’s office in 2013. But he has continued to serve as co-chairman of the PPP.

Speaking at a news conference after Talpur’s arrest, Bilawal said the ‘new Pakistan’ can only be compared to the old Pakistan led by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. “They (the government) are asking us, what they have done against us. They have arrested all my family and are putting up such questions,” he said.

He said the objective of the arrests of opposition leaders is to divert people’s attention from ‘economic terrorism’. “There is an anarchy-like situation in the country. People have to come out for their right. The government is usurping all their rights,” he maintained. He said that every citizen reserved the right to a fair trial. He said the government was afraid of Zardari and was victimising him to silence the PPP.

“The government does not want the National Assembly to function. We will keep on demanding our due rights, PPP will not  compromise on their rightful demands,” he asserted.Bilawal said the government had arrested Zardari and Nawaz Sharif but Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khan was not being held accountable.

The PPP chief said the government cannot corner the PPP as the party had fought against the likes of Pervez Musharraf, Ziaul Haq and Ayub Khan.

“The government members also have mothers, sisters and daughters in their family and their governance is not going to last forever. They are trying to victimise even the females,” he said. The PPP chief said he was in contact with the opposition parties for joint efforts to expose the government.

Separately, PPP leader Senator Rehman Malik urged National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar to issue production order of Asif Ali Zardari by June 17 otherwise the PPP will not let parliament work smoothly.

Speaking to journalists, Malik said that issuance of production order was constitutional right of every member of the House.