Pakistani Government chopper crash-lands in Afghanistan; occupants held hostage
Six Pakistani engineers and a Russian engineer, traveling to Uzbekistan in a Russian MI-17, had to make a crash landing due to technical faults in Afghanistan's Logar area on 4th August, 2016. Reports suggest that the Afghan Taliban set the chopper on fire, holding the 7 as hostages. The Foreign Office approached the Afghan Government, seeking their help to recover the hostages.
Pashto for "students", the Taliban is an Islamic fundamentalist political movement in Afghanistan. In Pashtun areas straddling Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Taliban's promise was to bring about peace and security by enforcing the Sharia and Islamic law. Pakistan and its intelligence agency, ISI, have often been criticized for the formation and rise of the Taliban.
Taliban forces are rebelling against the Afghan Government, now under the leadership of President Ashraf Ghani and against the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Terrorist attacks mostly victimising Afghan civilians are carried out. At the centre of Afghan Taliban's agenda lies the retraction of foreign forces from Afghanistan and the fall of the Afghan Central Government. The Taliban leadership operates in leadership councils.
On acquiring power in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Taliban expressed footing for Islamic punishments such as public execution of convicted murderers and adulterers. Hands of those found guilty of theft were amputated. All men are required to grow beards, all women, to wear the all-covering burka. Television, music and cinema is banned. Girls hitting the age of 10 are stopped from continuing education.
According to reports by United Nations, Taliban insurgents have been responsible for 75-80% of civilian casualties that occurred from 2009-2011.
According to Inter-Service Relations, Pakistani Army Chief Raheel Sharif reached out to the US Commander Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, seeking aid in the recovery of the helicopter crew. Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa, spokesperson of the military said, "Gen Nicolson has assured all possible help in this regard." The Afghan Government and Afghan National Army authorities too have been contacted for necessary assistance.
In an "attack on foreign invaders" and their Afghani "slaves", Taliban fired rocket-propelled grenades at a bus carrying tourists. 5 tourists and the Afghani bus driver sustained injuries in the attack near Herat. Jilani Farhan, Herat governor's spokesperson said, "The foreign tourists-3 Americans, 6 Britons, 2 Scots and 1 German-were traveling with an Afghan army convoy when they were ambushed in Chesht-e-Sharif."