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Pakistani gov't wants to resolve Lal Masjid issue promptly: PM
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09:41, July 08, 2007

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Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Saturday said the government wants to resolve the Lal Masjid issue promptly and with minimum loss of life, state media reported.

"We want to protect the lives of women and children who have been made hostage by extremists in Jamia Hafsa (the female religious school affiliated to Lal Masjid) and are very concerned about their plight and the plight of their parents who have come to Islamabad from different parts of the country to collect their children," Aziz said while chairing a meeting here, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

The prime minister said the government is concerned over reports that women and children have been forcibly detained and made hostage by the "extremists" inside the mosque and seminary complex.

"Their safety is the top priority of the government and we are pursuing a strategy to achieve our objectives without compromising on their safety", Aziz said.

He added that the government will facilitate the release and return of hostages in every possible manner and every possible step will be taken to facilitate the parents.

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