ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan People’s Party wants the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf-led government to go down on its own rather than being forced out through any unconstitutional way and become a ‘political martyr.’

The PPP leadership believes it needs time to prepare for the general elections, especially in the influential Punjab province.

The PPP leadership’s logic seems realistic keeping in view the party’s performance in the 2018 general elections and the subsequent by-polls.

PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto is of the considered opinion that the PTI-led government does not even need the opposition to fall. He expects Prime Minister Imran Khan to stop short of his five-year term due to the “massive price hike, poor economy and diplomatic failures.”

Bilawal says the PPP is against destabilising the governments through conspiracies. “We will not adopt any unconstitutional way. The PPP believes in democracy but wants this government to go so that the masses get a relief,” he told The Nation.

The PPP chief said the party was trying to mobilise public opinion on the ‘incompetence’ of the PTI-led government. “The people will make a decision and I think they have made a decision. The government needs to go and it will go on its own. They are already on their way out. We will not support any unconditional step to remove them. We will not allow them to become a political martyr after massive failures (at the helm).”

Bilawal said the PPP would emerge strongly in Punjab in the general elections. “The performance (in Punjab) does not prove our real strength. We have faced rigging and oppression. We will perform better in a free and fair election.”

Separately, in a tweet, the PPP chief said there was a very clear and present danger that the country will go bankrupt if the PM completes his five-year term. “The damage being done to the country is so severe that it may take years for the following governments to undo it,” he remarked.

He alleged the Prime Minister had spent his time in office touring the world, begging bowl in hand to get alms for Pakistan. “The myopic and short sighted policies of the PM had brought Pakistan on the verge of devastation,” he regretted.

He said Pakistan had been reduced to a country surviving on the kindness of friendly nations. “Never before has our country been so dependent on aid and loans. It is a travesty that we have gone from a country that demanded ‘trade not aid’ under President Asif Ali Zardari, to a country that is constantly begging from Peter to pay Paul under this incompetent regime,” he maintained.

The PPP sees the emergence of the Jahangir Tareen group in the PTI as a major political setback for Imran Khan government. Top PPP leaders fear the Tareen group has paved the way for falling of the PTI-led government.

“We will see in the coming weeks that the government will face crisis. The (passing of) budget is a first challenge,” Raja Pervez Ashraf, a former Prime Minister said, adding if the PPP had hatched conspiracies, the PTI-led government would have long gone.

The PPP had previously refused to quit the assemblies and had become a silent member of the Pakistan Democratic Movement ever since. The PPP is officially still part of the PDM but the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazal) accuse it of adopting a lenient policy towards the government.

PPP Secretary General Nayyar Bokhari said the government was unlikely to complete its five-year term but the PPP does not want Imran Khan to become a ‘political martyr.’

“They (the government) are going because they failed. The PPP does not have any role in it. If they had performed, the people would not protest against them and they would not lose every by-poll,” he contended.

Bokhari said the PPP had the support base in Punjab to make a comeback. “We are reorganising the party in the province and are optimistic about better results,” he said.

The PPP Secretary General said the government’s own members had started protesting against them. “Let them (the government) fall on its own and we will take it from there. We will perform well in Punjab this time. Last time it was a rigged election. (Passing) budget will be a first test,” he said.

Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmed however, thinks otherwise. He claims Tareen along with his group will vote for Imran Khan in passage of budget.

Tareen group earlier decided to nominate Saeed Akbar Niwani to “lead the discussions” against the alleged revenge tactics of the Punjab government, in the provincial assembly.

Whether or not the PPP predictions come true, the government has a tough challenge ahead to control the PTI internal rifts.