ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is set to intensify contacts with opposition parties and the reportedly disgruntled government allies in the coming weeks to give a tough time to the ruling Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf in the year 2020, senior party leaders said yesterday.

This week, Bilawal had urged the Muttahida Qaumi Movement to help topple the federal government and get cabinet slots in Sindh where the PPP leads the government.

“Help us save Karachi and topple the PTI government,” he said, adding the PPP will stand with the MQM.

Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, however, did not outrightly refuse Bilawal’s offer. He said that none of the political parties had fulfilled its agreements in the past. “Even the federal government isn’t giving the city the attention it deserves,” he remarked.

Bilawal had already predicted the downfall of the PTI-led government within months. Speaking at a massive public rally at Liaqat Bagh Rawalpindi to mark former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s death anniversary, the PPP leader said 2020 would be the election year. “The upcoming year (2020) will be the year of transparent election in the country,” he said.

The PPP chief said the people were protesting against the inflation and joblessness. “The economy is on the brink of destruction and the government has excluded over 0.8 million people from the BISP (Benazir Income Support Program) which is a grave cruelty,” he added.

PPP Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira said the PPP did not believe in toppling the government through unconstitutional means but forming alliance with other parties was a democratic right.

“There is nothing wrong if we contact the MQM for alliance or any other party. We will continue our efforts to get rid of this government,” he told The Nation.

Kaira said the under Bilawal’s directions, the PPP will consult the opposition parties to evolve a joint strategy against the government. “This government has given nothing to the people. The rulers have to go. We will intensify contacts with the parties to provide a better alternative,” he said.

The PPP leader said several allies of the government were not happy with the performance of the PTI. “Even the allies have started to release that the PTI will give nothing,” he added.

PPP lawmaker Nafisa Shah Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted to send Pakistani people to stone age because now people of Pakistan were unable to use petrol, gas and electricity.

She said people were suffering enormously due to them actions of “incapable prime minister” and his government.

She said that by the increase in petrol and diesel prices not only transport cost will increase but also the daily-use items will get further out of reach of people. The people are feeling difficulty to buy vegetables already.

“The prime minister and his puppet government are proving to be tormentor for the people of Pakistan,” she said.

Nafisa Shah said the PPP was hopeful to see the back of the government in the year 2020. “As Bilawal said 2020 will be the election year,” she contended.

PPP Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman said the government had left the people with no choice but to seek a change. “Petrol price raised by Rs 2.61 per litre by the government at the start of the year to bring a new wave of inflation. 2019 was full of hikes in gas, petrol and power prices without any relief for the poor too,” she said.

She said the PTI-led government was not serious about the parliament. “After 120 days of not calling the Senate, both Houses of parliament have been summoned without the normal 48 hours notice. They know members Sindh, Balochistan will not be able to reach in smog, and no flights. This is their seriousness about the parliamentary system,” she pointed out.