Pak seeks Afghanistan’s help for recovery of crashed helicopter crew

Lahore, Aug.5 : Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif has requested Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's assistance for the safe recovery of the abducted crew after its Punjab government's helicopter crashed in Afghanistan last night.

"The COAS called Afghan President Ashraf Ghani today and asked him to help in the safe and early recovery of the crew members of the Punjab government," the Dawn quoted Asim Bajwa, the Director General (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) as saying.

Bajwa, earlier confirmed that seven people were on board the helicopter including retired military officers and a Russian navigator.

He added that Ghani assured the army chief of "all possible assistance" in this regard. The Mi-17 chopper which was on its way to Russia via Uzbekistan for maintenance crash-landed in Afghanistan's Logar province.

The Taliban insurgents after the crash took the crew hostage before setting the aircraft on fire. The Army chief had yesterday also called Commander Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan General Nicolson and asked him to help in the recovery of the helicopter crew.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif visited the families of the helicopter's pilots Colonel (retd) Shafiqur Rehman, Colonel (retd.) Nasir Mehmood and Colonel (retd) Safdar Hussein in Lahore today expressed his heartfelt sympathies.

"I am in contact with the relevant federal agencies in this matter. Our first priority is the safe recovery of the crew. I have faith we will receive some good news soon," he said..

Source: ANI