Virtually ruling out any immediate crackdown against a radical cleric who is spearheading a drive to impose Islamic law, President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday said the government wanted to resolve the issue "amicably".
"(I am) praying to God to give them wisdom not to carry their threats.... The Government wants to resolve the issue amicably," the General said at a public meeting in Texila near here while referring to Maulana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid who announced setting up of a parallel Islamic court on Friday.
Musharraf's statement came even as the Interior Ministry said it had decided to take legal action against Aziz for challenging the writ of the government.
Aziz is also backing Taliban-style moral policing by madrassa students in the capital and has given one month deadline to music and video stores to shut shop. Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao said the government is exercising restraint because of the sensitive nature of the matter.
Referring to the threat by the cleric to carry out suicide attacks in case the government ordered crackdown against them, Musharraf said in view of the prevailing situation he was trying "to act with prudence".
He said Pakistan "is citadel of Islam" and its Constitution guarantees that no law would be enacted contrary to Islamic injunctions.
In a related development, the government has blocked the website of the Lal Masjid. Earlier, it had banned an FM radio transmission from the mosque being used for propaganda purpose.