Islamabad/Lahore: Top leaders of the ruling Pakistan People's Party have held several meetings to prepare for all contingencies in the event of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's conviction by the Supreme Court in a contempt case on Thursday.

The apex court has summoned Gilani to appear before a seven-judge bench that is hearing a contempt of court case initiated against the premier for refusing to act on orders to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The bench had reserved its judgement on Tuesday.

Gilani's appearance in court figured during a meeting of the cabinet on Wednesday.

"I will appear before the Supreme Court tomorrow," he told the cabinet.

He said he had "full respect" for the judiciary and had always honoured the decisions of the courts.

If Gilani is convicted, he could face a six-month prison term and disqualification, legal experts have said.

However, some experts have said the bench could convict the premier and sentence him to imprisonment "till the rising of the court", or the conclusion of the proceedings.

Gilani announced during an interaction with journalists on Monday that he would not seek a presidential pardon even if he is convicted.

Sources in the PPP said the party’s top leadership had discussed several options for dealing with the fallout of the apex court’s verdict.

The PPP plans to ask Gilani to remain as the premier even if he is convicted by the Supreme Court.

Party insiders said the government could use Article 94 of the Constitution to keep Gilani in office.

(Agencies)