ISLAMABAD - Breaking his silence over the increased political activities of the two top leaders of the PML-N and the PPP in Sindh and Punjab respectively, PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday alleged that both the parties had struck an underhand deal to protect the alleged wrongdoings of each other.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has struck a deal with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to save himself from the consequences of Panama leaks case, said the PTI chairman, while addressing a press conference at his residence in Bani Gala.

Khan recalled recent incidents including return of the PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari to the country after a long time as well as his close aide and former Sindh information minister Sharjeel Memon.

He also mentioned interior ministry’s decision to allow Ayyan Ali leave Pakistan and Wednesday’s release orders of a court for another close aide of Zardari, Dr Asim Hussain, in a terrorism case.

Khan said that all this happened because of a “deal with the government”.

Memon is facing corruption allegations of Rs5 billion and model Ayyan Ali is facing charges of money laundering amounting Rs50 million, he said.

He said that he could not keep silent over the Wednesday’s release orders of Dr Asim Hussain by a court.

The PTI chief remarked that perhaps prosecution side did not pursue the case well on the directions of the government.  “The decisions of the courts mainly depend on prosecution,” he said.

“Dr Asim was involved in corruption of Rs480 billion. How can we remain silent?” he questioned.

The PTI chief accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PPP leader Asif Ali Zaradri of committing crime of money laundering and said that both had had same interests and they would not damage each other.

“As long as the PM would remain corrupt, in this country the state institutions cannot perform well,” he said.

Both are involved in a fixed fight as a result of this deal, Khan accused.

Imran Khan alleged that perhaps Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in his 12 September 2016 press conference had indicated towards this deal.

He alleged the interior minister provided relief to Dr Asim and Ayyan Ali through prosecution. Commenting on the recent remarks of Zardari given in a television show that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) could not dare to touch him, Khan said that Zardari was right in saying this because both PM Nawaz Sharif and the PPP leader had made the appointment of chairman NAB.

“It is the duty of the NAB to proceed against Zardari and the PM who are facing cases in the bureau,” he said.

Responding to a question, Khan said that the PTI would not enter into an election alliance with the PPP in the next general elections because both the parties had different election manifesto.

“Even PPP leadership in Punjab did not want former president to return and wanted from Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to lead,” he said adding that many PPP leaders did not want deal but wanted accountability.

PTI chief hoped that the Supreme Court would announce the decision of Panama leaks case at the earliest.

Chairman’s press conference met an ugly end when PTI leader Aleem Khan tried to scuffle with a journalist of TV “Channel 24” Awais Kayani over his question asking Khan that Aleem’s name was also surfacing among the land mafia.

SC on an application of Khan had taken suo motu notice over encroachments, bad sewerage conditions and deforestation in Bani Gala — the place where palatial residence of PTI chairman is located.

In response to the comments of Imran Khan, PPP Senator Saeed Ghani in a statement said that “Imran Khan fears the politics of Asif Ali Zardari because umpire and his finger are missing from Pakistani politics and Imran Khan has lost all hopes to enter power corridor via backdoor.”

In a statement issued by the PPP Media Office Islamabad, Ghani accused Imran Khan was used to ball tempering in cricket and wanted to use similar tactics in politics.

Imran Khan is in politics using black money made by his cronies, he said.

Dr Asim Hussain has suffered but continued to fight legal battle and defeated PPP opponents, he said.

Dr Hussain demanded accountability of Imran Khan for corruption in his own party’s funds.

Imran Khan is increasingly becoming frustrated as the PTI support is shrinking, Senator Ghani commented.