A Chinese couple, five of their female employees, and two men
were taken away from their residence in Islamabad early Saturday
morning by Lal Masjid students, according to reliable
They are now held hostage in Jamia Hafsa, a religious school
under Lal Masjid, the red mosque.
Pakistani Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said Saturday
that Pakistan would take measures to ensure the safety and early
release of the nine Chinese.
In a telephone conversation with Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui,
Sherpao said that he was sorry for the unexpected incident.
Luo told Xinhua that he requested the Pakistani government to
take measures to ensure the safety of the Chinese hostages and all
the Chinese in Pakistan.
In a separate phone conversation, Luo contacted Pakistan Muslim
League (Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and asked him to use
his influence for the safety and early release of the Chinese
The ruling party president, who had talks with the Lal Masjid
administration for Pakistani hostages' release before, said that he
was shocked to hear this incident involving Chinese and vowed to
help solve the crisis.
A joint task force composed of Chinese embassy officials and
Pakistani officials has been formed to get early release of the
nine Chinese, Luo said.
(Xinhua News Agency June 23, 2007)