Middle East

Pakistani cleric, government strike deal to end protests

Pakistani officials say the government and a Muslim cleric have struck a deal to end four days of protests by thousands in the capital.

The agreement with Tahir-ul-Qadri was reached late Thursday.

Qadri demanded the government be dissolved and replaced by an independent caretaker government. He also wants electoral reform to weed out corrupt politicians.

A negotiation team member says the government agreed to dissolve the National Assembly a few days before its term ends in March, giving 90 days until elections are held. That gives time to make sure politicians are eligible to stand for election.

An official in the prime minister's office says the premier has signed the agreement.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media