Pakistan is in constant touch with Afghan authorities to ensure safe recovery of the crashed chopper’s crew: PM

ISLAMABAD, 5th August, 2016 (WAM) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said the federal government is in constant touch with the relevant authorities in Afghanistan and the state’s resources are fully utilised to rescue personnel onboard a helicopter that crashed in Logar province of Afghanistan.

According to Afghan media reports, Taliban have taken seven members of the crew into custody after the helicopter made an emergency landing in the province. The helicopter was en route to Russia through Uzbekistan for over-hauling.

''Formal and informal channels are being used to ensure safe recovery of the entire crew,'' the Prime Minister further said.

"We are profoundly concerned about the safety of the whole team that was travelling on the helicopter. We have formally requested the Government of Afghanistan to help in safe recovery of seven persons, including a Russian technician, at the earliest possible," said the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said Pakistan has made contact with the Afghan government over the incident to get more details.

Pakistan had obtained permission for the chopper to fly along that route, he added.

Pakistan army spokesman said army chief General Raheel Sharif called NATO and US forces’ top commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, for help to rescue the crew.

An Afghan Ministry of Defence spokesman said in a statement in Kabul that his country "ordered its security forces to use all force necessary to rescue the helicopter crew in question."


WAM/tfaham