ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party is ready to hit back at the government if party co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari is arrested.

PPP leaders told The Nation that the party will decide its future strategy today (December 26) at the meeting of the Central Executive Committee in Naudero and decisions will be announced at the rally to mark the death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto a day later.

“There is a consensus that we will not sit back it attacked. If Zardari is arrested, we will battle our way out. We will not let the government enjoy as we are victimised. We will dig out cases (against the PTI leaders) and protest on roads,” said a senior PPP leader. The PPP leaders have already gathered in Naudero for the CEC meeting, which has become an annual feature.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the Panama Joint Investigation Team report and the Fake Accounts JIT report – against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former President Asif Ali Zardari - were case studies in how states fail.

Khan said that he was ‘puzzled and perplexed’ by those who were still defending the plunderers. The PM said that the scale and methods used for siphoning off public money were incredulous and mind-boggling.

Zardari’s daughter Aseefa Bhutto Zardari responded: “Today on the 142nd birthday of Quaid-e-Azam, it is time for introspection on shrinking spaces for dissent; ban on all freedoms; dual standards of justice; the very antithesis of the Pakistan Jinnah envisioned. It’s time to reclaim Jinnah’s Pakistan!”

Her older sister Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari tweeted: “Even more puzzled and perplexed how Peshawar BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) can reach almost Rs1 trillion with no mega money laundering scandal.” This week, PPP leader Latif Khosa said that party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryum Nawaz could appear on one container if Nawaz Sharif and Zardari were arrested. He said that both the main opposition parties could join hands to give tough time to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government.

He warned the federal government could be in trouble if Punjab and Sindh joined hands against the centre.

PPP Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman said that the government was victimising the opposition under the garb of accountability. She said that the so-called accountability was only being imposed on the opposition while the PTI leaders were getting away untouched.

Sindh minister Syed Nasir Hussain said that son of PTI leader Jehangir Tarin was not being questioned after buying a cricket team for nearly Rs1 billion but Bilawal was asked to clarify a Rs15,000 lunch.

PPP leader Natasha Daultana said that her party was not against accountability but would not let the government crush the political opponents.

“If the accountability is fair, we will support it but if they just want to imprison Asif Ali Zardari and victimize Bilawal Bhutto, then we can come to streets,” she maintained.

PPP’s Senator Mustfa Nawaz Khokhar said the party was in touch with the opposition parties on the ‘selective accountability’ issue. He said the ministers were briefing the JIT members on Zardari cases. “There is a mindset to wipe out leadership who speaks over national issues. Other opposition members are also being targeted,” he said.

On the eve Benazir Bhutto’s death anniversary, PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted: “Oh dictators, you are already dead while you live... She is alive in her death.”