Supporters of religious groups shout religious slogans during a rally to express solidarity with protesters block main highway in capital, in Lahore, Pakistan. Picture: AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary

Islamabad — Pakistan's law minister has resigned, caving in to Islamist protesters who have been demanding his ouster in a three-week-long rally near Islamabad.

Monday's development comes after negotiations with the rally organisers went nowhere.

Security forces held back from dispersing the protesters on Sunday, after a crackdown the previous day left six dead.

Zahid Hamid's resignation will likely pave the way for supporters of the Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah party, which is behind the protest, to peacefully disband their sit-in at a key intersection on the edge of the Pakistani capital.

The Islamists demanded Hamid's resignation over an omitted reference to Islam's Prophet Muhammad in a parliamentary bill. He had earlier apologised for the omission in the bill, saying it was a clerical error that was later corrected.

Associated Press