A group of Afghan army soldiers, who had sought refuge into Pakistan after losing control of military post on the Pak-Afghan border, have been returned to their country in a dignified manner, the military said in a statement.
“Forty-six Afghan soldiers, including five officers, have been returned to Afghan authorities at Nawa Pass, Bajaur today [Tuesday] at 00:35 hours, Pakistan Standard Time,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said late Monday.
Forty-six Afghan National Army soldiers including five officers have been sent back home across the border through Bajaur's Nawa Pass after they had requested safe passage into Pakistan.#etribune #Latest #Pakistan #Afghanistan #ViralVideo pic.twitter.com/cSww7TNGDR— The Express Tribune (@etribune) July 26, 2021
The Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and Border Police were given safe passage into Pakistan, on their own request by the Pakistan Army in Arundu Sector of Pak-Afghan international border in Chitral on July 25, the statement added.
ANA local commander had requested the Pakistan Army for refuge and safe passage for the soldiers.
The military’s media wing said after necessary clearance, the Afghan soldiers crossed into Pakistan with their weapons, ammunition and communication equipment.
“The said soldiers have now been amicably returned to Afghan authorities on their request along with their weapons and equipment,” the ISPR said adding that Pakistan will continue to extend all-out support to its Afghan brethren in time of need.
Earlier in the day, the ISPR had said that Afghan soldiers had been provided food, shelter and necessary medical care as per established military norms.
During recent weeks of fighting, the 300,000 strong Afghan security forces have lost many districts to the Taliban's offensive, with security forces often surrendering without a fight. The Taliban have seized most of the landlocked country's international border crossings.
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said earlier that the Afghan security forces' first job was to make sure they could slow the Taliban's momentum before attempting to retake territory, as Afghan forces plan to consolidate forces around strategically important parts of the country.
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