Refuge, safe passage granted to Afghan soldiers by Pak Army

Rawalpindi: Forty-six soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Border Police were granted “refuge and safe passage” by the Pakistan Army on Sunday, according to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement.
The statement said that a local ANA commander opposite Arundu, Chitral, had requested help for the 46 soldiers, including five officers, as “they were unable to hold their military posts along the Pak-Afghan International Border due to the evolving security situation in Afghanistan.”
The Pakistan Army contacted Afghan authorities for the relevant information and necessary formalities, the statement added.
“These Afghan soldiers arrived at Arundu sector, Chitral late last night. After contact with Afghan authorities and necessary military procedures, 46 soldiers including five officers have been given refuge and safe passage into Pakistan. “Afghan soldiers have been provided food, shelter and necessary medical care as per established military norms,” the ISPR statement said.
It added that the soldiers and officers would be returned to the Afghan government in a “dignified manner after due process”. Mentioning a similar incident, the ISPR statement said 35 Afghan soldiers who had asked for refuge on July 1 had also been “given safe passage into Pakistan and handed over to Afghan govt authorities after due procedure”.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had previously said that Pakistan has moved the Frontier Constabulary, Levies Force and other militias from the front line positions along the Pak-Afghan border as the army has started to man those positions.
“Now regular army troops are manning the border after replacing the paramilitary forces,” the minister said, adding the decision had been made in wake of the volatile situation across the border. “The current volatile situation (in Afghanistan) demands that regular military troops be deployed along the border,” he had said.
Earlier in July, more than 1,000 Afghan security personnel fled across the border into Tajikistan following Taliban advances in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban had taken over six key districts in the northern province of Badakshan, which borders both Tajikistan and China, following which 1,037 Afghan servicemen fled across the border with Tajikistan’s permission.–ISPR