Islamist hardliners incensed by the acquittal of a Christian woman for blasphemy in Pakistan are to end their three-day protest after they reached an agreement with the government, a protest spokesman and ministers said late Friday.
"The party leaders have announced to end protest sit-ins across the country. Workers have been asked to disperse peacefully," Pir Ijaz Qadri, spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan party (TLP) -- which has largely led the demonstrations -- told AFP after a press conference.
Demonstrations broke out after the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday overturned a blasphemy conviction for Christian mother Asia Bibi, ending her eight year ordeal on death row but infuriating Muslim conservatives.
Earlier two government ministers also confirmed the deal, with Religious Affairs Minister Noor-Ul-Haq Qadri telling the private TV channel GEO that talks were successful and the government had signed an agreement with the TLP.
Mobile services in major cities across Pakistan remained down throughout Friday as religious parties took to the streets for a third day of demonstrations against the Supreme Court's decision.
Blasphemy is a massively inflammatory charge in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where even unproven allegations of insulting Islam and its Prophet Mohammed can provoke death at the hands of vigilantes.
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