ISLAMABAD: Afghan authorities transported the chopper, which had crash landed in Logar, to Kabul on Friday as efforts for the recovery of the crew continued. Utv Pakistan Report
Sources said that the chopper was expected to be handed over to Pakistan through the Torkham border crossing sometime today (Sunday).
The Punjab government’s helicopter, en route to Russia for a routine overhaul, crash-landed in the restive Logar province in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday.
“Formal and informal channels are being used to ensure safe recovery of the entire crew,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in a statement from his office.
Meanwhile, the Afghan defence ministry said it had launched a probe into the incident. “We have launched an investigation into the incident and the government has instructed security forces to spare no efforts to secure the release of crew members,” the Afghan defence ministry said in a statement.
The fate of the passengers on board the aircraft was still unclear, but a Taliban commander claimed the seven were “in safe hands” with the militants.
A senior Afghan Taliban commander, talking on condition of anonymity, told a news agency that the passengers — six Pakistanis and a Russian technician — were in their custody and that negotiations for their release were ongoing. “They are being looked after, being provided tea, food, everything,” he said. “We are in touch with the Pakistani officials. We conveyed to them that they are in safe hands.”
He added that it was of no use to seek help from the Afghan government or the US military because the Taliban were in full control of the district.