Crew of crashed copter shifted to Pakistan
Pakistan’s NEWS International quoted unnamed sources as saying the crewmembers were handed over to the Pakistani authorities in Chitral district.
The crewmembers included five Pakistani officials and a Russian.
The helicopter was en route to Russia for overhauling when it crash landed in Azra district of the province and Taliban militants held them hostage.
The Afghan government has said nothing about the recovery of the crewmembers and their shifting to Pakistan.
The Kabul government has tasked a commission with investigating the helicopter crash and rescuing the crew.
The development comes a day after Logar provincial member and resident of Azra district, Abdul Wali Wakeel, told Pajhwok Afghan News a Pakistani delegation had arrived in the district to negotiate the release of the hostages.
He had said the Taliban councils in Peshawar and Quetta had mounted pressure on the captors to release the crewmembers.
He said the Pakistani delegation was comprised of tribal elders from across the Durand Line, some Afghans living there and the deputy spokesman of the Pakistan Army.
But Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Shakeb Mustaghani had said Pakistan had not formally informed them about the arrival of its delegation to Azra district.
The Taliban have also so far said nothing in this regard to the media.
In Islamabad, the Foreign Office said on Thursday the Afghan government was involved in efforts to ensure the safe recovery of the kidnapped crew and has provided news on the crew's condition.
"The Afghan government is in talks with the local tribal elders of the area where the Punjab government's helicopter crash-landed with a Russian navigator and six Pakistanis on board," Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria told DawnNews.
"There has been a response [about the crew]. The crew is safe and they [Afghan government] are trying to involve the local elders of the area in the recovery process," added Zakaria.
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