External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday waived the condition of a letter from Pakistan’s Foreign Adviser Sartaj Aziz for an ailing PoK resident to get a visa and said he would be allowed to come here as Pakistan- occupied-Kashmir was an integral part of India.
Osama Ali, a 24-year old resident of Rawalkot in PoK, has been diagnosed with a tumour in his liver and wants to seek treatment in Delhi.Ali’s family has appealed to Swaraj to revoke the requirement of a letter from Aziz for a medical emergency visa.
POK is an integral part of India. Pakistan has illegally occupied it. We are giving him visa. No letter required. https://t.co/cErxQw7Cht— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 18, 2017
On July 10, Swaraj had reiterated the need for a letter by Aziz and expressed dismay over the lack of courtesy shown by her Pakistani counterpart, who she said had not even acknowledged her personal letter requesting for a Pakistani visa for Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother.
I wrote a personal letter to Mr.Sartaj Aziz for the grant of her visa to Pakistan. /7— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 10, 2017
However, Mr.Aziz has not shown the courtesy even to acknowledge my letter. /8— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 10, 2017
I am sure Mr.Sartaj Aziz also has consideration for the nationals of his country. /2— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 10, 2017
I see no reason why should he hesitate to give his recommendation for nationals of his own country. /4— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 10, 2017
However, she assured Aziz that any Pakistani national seeking a medical visa to travel to India with his recommendation would be given one immediately.
According to The Indian Express, Rawalakot resident Osama Ali was diagnosed with cancer of the liver and had been accepted as a patient in a private hospital in south Delhi. The doctors have suggested a liver transplant and the family wants to get the procedure done in India as it is the cheapest here.
Osama’s family, however, was not able to secure the visa as Sartaj Aziz was not willing to write a letter to the Indian High Commission in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad recommending that Osama be given a medical emergency visa. On July 10, Swaraj had made such a letter conditional for these visas.
Osama’s father Javed Naz Khan, a lawyer in Rawalakot and a worker of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), said, "The Foreign Ministry said it was not the policy for Aziz Sahib to write the letter. The practice is for the Secretary in charge of the South Asia desk to write a letter, but we have learnt that the Indian High Commission has rejected some visas with these recommendations. I appeal to India to give a medical visa to my son without the letter.”
(Feature Image Source: PTI)