According to the Pakistan army, 46 Afghan soldiers sought refuge in Pakistan after losing control of military posts across the border due to Taliban militant advances.
Following Taliban offensives in border regions, hundreds of Afghan army troops and civil officials have fled to Tajikistan, Iran, and Pakistan.
According to the Pakistan army, the Afghan military commander requested refuge at the Chitral border crossing in the north, and the soldiers were granted safe passage into Pakistan on Sunday night after receiving clearance from Afghan authorities.
“Afghan soldiers have been provided food, shelter, and necessary medical care as per established military norms,” the statement said.
The move comes at a time when the neighbors’ ties are strained. After the short abduction of the Afghan ambassador’s daughter in Islamabad earlier this month, Afghanistan withdrew its ambassadors.
Afghan officials did not respond to a request for comment.
Since the United States declared in April that it will remove its soldiers by September, ending a 20-year foreign military presence, the Taliban escalated its offensive.
Washington has said that airstrikes will continue to assist Afghan forces fighting insurgents.
In recent weeks, the Afghan government and Taliban negotiators gathered in Doha, Qatar’s capital, but officials believe there has been little meaningful progress since peace negotiations started in September.
Afghanistan’s military is changing its combat plan against the Taliban, according to Afghan and US sources, to concentrate troops around key locations such as Kabul and major towns, border crossings, and essential infrastructure.
The Pakistan army has said that the troops who sought refuge will be returned to Afghanistan following due procedure, as was the case with another group of 35 soldiers earlier this month.