24 year old resident Osama from what India calls as Pakistan Occupied Kashmir or PoK, has been diagnosed with a tumour and advised to undergo an urgent liver transplant by a private hospital in Saket in New Delhi.
However, the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, has refused the letter to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, thereby, denying a medical emergency visa to the youth.
Rawalakot resident Osama Ali’s family appealed to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to revoke the requirement of a letter from Aziz for the said visa. Earlier this month, Swaraj had made such a letter conditional for all medical visas.
Osama’s father Javed Naz Khan, a lawyer in Rawalakot and a worker of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), expressed his regret for getting his son treated anywhere else besides India, since the cost of the treatment was most economical here.
Khan, almost breaking down over the phone, exclaimed, “I am the unfortunate father, who is not able to provide treatment to his son”
Khan said that he had approached other sources such as PoK President Masood Khan, however, once again he was let down by Pakistan officials on the same. After failing on all fronts, Khan appealed directly to India to grant his son a medical visa without the letter, as a special case.
Swaraj has expressed “sympathies for all Pakistan nationals seeking medical visa for their treatment in India and emphasised that Aziz should also consider the same for all nationals of his country.
She further stated, “I see no reason why should he hesitate to give his recommendation for nationals of his own country. India has always been generous with visas to Pakistani patients seeking treatment in India, and has never shut down this humanitarian window even in the worst of times in bilateral relations”.
In an emphatic tweet this morning, the External Affairs Minister, tweeted the below, reversing the requirement of any letter for a PoK resident, whom she considers as an integral part of the Indian territory, forcefully occupied by Pakistan.
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
While we read about such humanitarian gestures from the Indian EAM almost on a weekly basis, she did not miss slamming Aziz this time for not showing the basic courtesy to even acknowledge her letter on a visa for the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on the charge of spying.