RAWALPINDI: A group of Afghan army men who took shelter in Pakistan have been handed over to the authorities of their country in a dignified manner by the Pakistan Army after they lost control of a military post on the Pak-Afghan border and requested for a safe passage, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) late on Monday. These soldiers from the Afghan National Army were given a safe passage into Pakistan on their own request in the Arundu Sector of Pak-Afghan International Border, Chitral, on 25th July. These soldiers crossed into Pakistan with all their ammunition, communication equipment and weaponry. “Forty-six Afghan soldiers, including five officers, have been returned to Afghan authorities at Nawa Pass, Bajaur today [Tuesday] at 00:35 hours, Pakistan Standard Time,” said the Pakistan Army’s media wing in a statement. “The said soldiers have now been amicably returned to the Afghan authorities on their request along with their weapons and equipment,” it added. “Pakistan will continue to extend all kinds of support to our Afghan brethren in time of need,” the Pakistan Army said. The Taliban have swiftly captured territory in recent weeks in Afghanistan and seized strategic border crossings with several neighbouring countries. They are also threatening a number of provincial capitals – advances that come as the last US and NATO soldiers complete their final withdrawal from Afghanistan.