Supporters of the radical religious party Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah chant religious slogans at a sit-in protest in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
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Pakistan's law minister resigned Monday as the embattled civilian government bowed to demands from a small Islamist group whose anti-blasphemy protest in the capital has fuelled deadly violence and sparked demonstrations across the nuclear-armed nation.Protest leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi called off the sit-in after state media reported minister Zahid Hamid's resignation early Monday. Rizvi said he had military assurances that the demands of his Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah Pakistan (TLY) group would be met. The decision to capitulate to the protesters' demands is a major embarrassment for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) as it eyes elections in 2018, analysts said, and underscores the influence of religious groups in the nuclear-armed country of 207 million.Rizvi's previously obscure group has been calling for weeks for Hamid's ousting over a hastily-abandoned amendment to the oath which election candidates must swear. Authorities initially hesitated to act over the sit-in.
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