Freeing of hostages in Pakistan a "positive sign" -U.S. generalTAMPA, Fla. Oct 12 (Reuters) – The freeing of a kidnapped U.S.-Canadian couple and their three children in Pakistan is a positive sign and a recognition of how seriously Islamabad takes the protection of American citizens, the head of U.S. Central Command said on Thursday.

“We are very appreciative for the efforts of the Pakistani military in helping affect the securing of our American hostages that have been held there, and a Canadian citizen, for quite some time,” U.S. General Joseph Votel told reporters.

“It is a positive sign that they (recognized) the importance, they (recognized) the opportunity, they acted quickly and very responsibly to get control of these persons and begin to affect their return,” Votel said, adding that he had spoken with Pakistan’s chief of Army Staff on Wednesday.

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