Pakistani police warn Islamist rally to disband within hours

Pakistani police have warned an Islamist rally near the capital, Islamabad, to disband within hours to avoid a crackdown.

An estimated 5,000 members of a small radical Islamist party are camped out at Islamabad's main Faizabad crossing. Their rally, which began last week, has disrupted city life and traffic.

There was no immediate sign the protesters would disband on Friday.

A Pakistani court on Thursday asked the rally organizers — the small Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah party — to end their protest seeking removal of the country's law minister, Zahid Hamid, over a recently omitted reference to the Prophet Muhammad in a constitutional bill.

Hamid has apologized, saying it was a clerical mistake that was later corrected.

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has dismissed the protesters' "unreasonable demand" for Hamid's ouster.