ISLAMABAD - Former President Asif Ali Zardari yesterday said his Pakistan People’s Party will not take any emotional decision over the Panama leaks scandal – challenging Prime Minister Sharif and his family.

In a meeting with senior PPP leader Senator Rehman Malik in London, Zardari said the PPP has always kept the national interests supreme.

The PPP has been pressing the government for investigations into the Panama leaks but believes the agitation will not be a solution.

Zardari previously said the PPP will ensure transparent investigation into the Panama leaks case and every decision should be made in consultation with the opposition parties.

PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be held accountable over the Panama leaks .

A few weeks earlier, he urged Prime Minister Sharif to step down from his position following the allegations about his role in the corruption rampant in the country, saying he wants a transparent probe into the Panama leaks .

The leak of 11 million documents held by the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca identified links between many political and business leaders around the world and offshore companies and accounts. Among them was the Prime Minister Sharif's family.

The leaks reveal that three of Sharif’s children own offshore companies and assets not shown on his family's wealth statement.

The companies identified so far include three British Virgin Islands-based companies Nescoll Ltd, Nielsen Enterprises Ltd and Hangon Property Holdings Ltd, incorporated in 1993, 1994 and 2007 respectively.

Top PML-N figures suggested that no offshore companies or assets were shown to be held in Nawaz name, and that he could not be held accountable for what was owned by his sons. Besides, the leaks did not necessarily mean any wrongdoing.

The most lethal attack was launched by opposition politician Imran Khan, the head of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf. Khan called for Sharif's resignation and an inquiry into the allegations by the Chief Justice of Pakistan. Failing this, he threatened public protests, including a siege of Sharif's residence in Lahore. This has created an air of acrimony, with both sides launching personal attacks on each other.

Rehman Malik told The Nation after his meeting with Zardari in London that the PPP co-chairman was against ‘raiding’ the house of the Sharif family in Raiwind.

“We want serious investigation in to the Panama leaks but we do not want to get emotional and derail democracy.  We are a democratic force and support democracy. At the same time, we want to make it clear, we are not saving the government,” Senator Malik said.

He said Imran Khan wanted to go solo without consulting other parties. “Once he has taken a decision, he obviously wants others to follow him. This agitation will be useless. We need to press the government for investigations. Our aim should not be to create a scene to damage democracy,” the lawmaker said.

Malik said the PPP will not join the PTI’s agitation as “we have the parliament to take up our issues.” He said Zardari improved the image of Pakistan through the ‘friends of Pakistan’ initiative and wants the government to work for the national development.

Malik said Zardari supported a strong stance over the bloodshed in held Kashmir. He also urged the government to end the international isolation of the country over the issue of terrorism.

Meanwhile, yesterday, PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari declared Rafiq Qureshi - the Sindh policeman who intercepted a suicide bomber in Shikarpur, suffered serious wounds in the ensuing blast and passed away at a hospital - as a hero of the nation.

He paid tributes to Rafiq Qureshi for his gallantry who risked his own life to save hundreds others at the Eid congregation in the Khanpur town of Shikarpur.

Bilawal directed the Sindh government to announce compensation for the family of Rafiq Qureshi and also ensure free education and health facilities for his whole family, said a party statement.

He sympathized with the family of the martyr and assured them that the PPP and its provincial government will not leave them alone, it said.