Protesting cleric reaches deal with Pakistan government: report
17 January 2013
Tahir-ul Qadri, the cleric who descended on Islamadad with swarms of supporters calling for the Pakistani government to resign is said to have reached an agreement with the government to halt protests.
The protest coming amidst the Supreme Court directing arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had nearly triggered a political crisis in Pakistan.
"We have reached an agreement. After getting the prime minister's signature, we will read it in front of protesters," Qadri said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is reported to have lobbied with top political leaders, including PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, for "upholding" the democratic system.
Hours after Qadri who is said to have the backing of the powerful military, gathered in Islamabad demanding sweeping electoral reforms, Ashraf telephoned political leaders to discuss the situation.
"During his conversation, there was a consensus on upholding the Constitution and the democratic system. The leaders noted that democracy has been achieved after great sacrifices and struggle by the people of Pakistan and it will be defended at all costs," said a statement issued by the PM's office.