Islamabad: Pakistan's interior minister says hundreds of Islamists protesting the hanging of a policeman who had shot and killed a secular governor have ended their rally outside parliament.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan says the protesters began dispersing on Wednesday after he warned the government would use force if they failed to depart peacefully.
Awais Noorani, one of the protest leaders, called on demonstrators to disperse, saying a deal had been reached with the government.
The interior minister denied any agreement had been reached, but said religious leaders had helped convince the protesters to leave the area.
The protesters were demanding strict Shariah law be imposed after the hanging of police officer Mumtaz Qadri, who killed Governor Salman Taseer in 2011 over his opposition to the country's far-ranging blasphemy laws.
They also demanded the hanging of a Christian woman Taseer had defended against blasphemy allegations, and asked that Qadri be declared a national martyr.
Khan says police have detained more than 1,000 protesters over the last four days, and would only release those not implicated in violence.
First Published On : Mar 30, 2016 21:31 IST