No relative of Gen. Raheel taken hostage in Afghanistan, ISPR clarifies

Gen. Raheel02ISLAMABAD: The military’s spokesperson on Saturday rebuffed the claims that Army Chief General Raheel Sharif’s son-in-law is among the seven crew members taken hostage by Taliban militants after a Punjab government’s Mi-17 crash-landed in Afghanistan’s Logar province.

A section of local and regional press has been carrying news items, reportedly saying that a son-in-law of Gen Raheel is among the helicopter crew members taken hostage by Taliban.

Terming such news as baseless and rumours, the military media wing issued a clarification with Lt Gen Asim Bajwa tweeting that “none of the hostages is related to COAS”.

Inter-Services Public Relations chief said that rumours are being spread about the identity of various crew members of the Punjab government helicopter that crash-landed in Logar province on Friday.

MI17 PAKI

“The lives of all hostages are very precious and all-out efforts are being made for their safe and early return,” Bajwa maintained.

A Punjab government Mi-17 helicopter had crash landed on Thursday in Afghanistan’s Logar province where Taliban insurgents took the crew hostage before setting the helicopter on fire.

The helicopter had seven people on board at the time of the incident and was on its way for periodic overhauling to Uzbekistan.

Following the crash, Gen Raheel had immediately called Commander Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan General Nicolson and had asked him to help in the recovery of the helicopter crew.

The army chief also called Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday and asked him to help in safe and early recovery of the hostages. -KP

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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