ISLAMABAD - With the government paying no heed to the popular demands of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI), which is staging a sit-in for the last 70 days, some senior leaders inside the party feel helpless as finances have parched.

Insiders in the PTI confided to The Nation on Thursday that majority in the core committee of the party wants an end to the sit-in at D-chowk as they believe the government would not yield to their core demands.

With Rawalpindi-Islamabad chapter of the PTI no more funding the sit-in, the expenses are being borne by a few party stalwarts including Jahangir Tareen, Azam Khan Swati, Abdul Aleem Khan (PTI’s Lahore president) and some elements in the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa government.

Abdul Aleem Khan has been sponsoring DJ Butt, the man behind the musical arrangements at PTI’s gathering. He also financed container-cum-stage of Imran Khan at the Lahore rally.

Jahangir Tareen and Azam Khan Swati have pumped in millions to party funds for continuing the agitation while the KP chief minister and few other ministers, according to sources, were tasked with pulling people to the protest venue.

The sit-in, initially estimated by party leadership to continue for three days, was sponsored by the party’s Rawalpindi-Islamabad chapter under the supervision of PTI additional secretary general Saifullah Niazi, who later quit as organiser for want of money after the sit-in continued for an indefinite period.

PTI’s key leader and MNA Asad Umar, during an interview with The Nation three days back, disclosed that his party initially had no intention to prolong the sit-in, adding that it was extended in the wake of the refusal of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to tender resignation.

A PTI lawmaker told this reporter seeking anonymity that his party anxiously looked for an exit from Islamabad, adding that the sit-in against the government had exhausted Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf.

“We are being solaced that the sit-in would boost our campaign for next elections even if the prime minister does not resign. But the issue is how long will we stay here,” the lawmaker said.

Sources said majority of PTI senior leaders had advised joining Dr Tahirul Qadri, chief of Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT), in calling off the protest when a PAT representative had intimated to the PTI their intention to end the sit-in.

They argued that several leaders got sick for regularly attending the gathering at Federal Capital’s D-Chowk. “Sometimes we feel as if we are not politicians but warriors. Only a warrior can fight for 70 days, not a politician. We are not as muscular as Khan,” another PTI lawmaker said.

Some PTI lawmakers want to end boycott of the National Assembly in order to raise their voice on the floor of the parliament for pressing the treasury benches to accept their demands. “But Khan Sahib and some of his unelected friends want us to stay away from the lower house of the parliament,” a source added.

It has been learnt that the PTI would call off its sit-in once it is done with touring different cities across the country, a move the party views as election campaign.

“At present we have no other option. Our party badly needs face-saving and we are sure the government and rest of the parties will not give us a safe exit,” a PTI source commented.