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Captive soldier's dad asks Pakistan military for help

BOISE, Idaho — The father of the only U.S. soldier held captive in the Afghan war appealed to the Pakistani military for help in freeing his son in a video posted on YouTube on Friday.

The parents of Spc. Bowe Bergdahl have declined to say much publicly since their son went missing from his base in southern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. While it's unclear where the 25-year-old soldier is being held, a video released on the Internet earlier this week shows him standing next to a senior official in the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network in Paktika province in Afghanistan.

In Friday's video, Idaho resident Bob Bergdahl urges members of the Pakistani military to help secure his son's release. He directly references Pakistan Army Chief of Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, head of the country's intelligence service.

"Our family is counting on your professional integrity and your honor to secure the safe return of our son," he said. "And we thank you. Our family knows the high price that has been paid by your men in the army and the frontier corps. We give our condolences and thanks to the families of those who have fallen for Pakistan."

Idaho National Guard spokesman Col. Tim Marsano, a liaison for the U.S. Army in Idaho, confirmed that Bob Bergdahl is the man in the video.

Wearing a long beard he began growing just after his son's capture, Bob Bergdahl speaks in English, Pashto and Arabic in the video, and he talks directly to members of the Haqqanis and their military commander, Mullah Sangeen.

"Strangely to some, we must also thank those who have cared for our son, for almost two years, Mullah Sangeen, the Haqqanis, and others who have played a role in sheltering the American prisoner," he said. "We know our son is a prisoner and at the same time a guest in your home."

Speaking to his son, Bob Bergdahl offered reassurances that the family has done all it can — and that they want him home safe.

"We have been quiet in public, but we have not been quiet behind the scenes," Bob Bergdahl said. "Continue to be patient and kind to those around you. You are not forgotten."

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