The Indian government has granted permission to a Pakistani cancer patient to visit Uttar Pradesh state after initially denying her a medical visa.
The development came after 25-year-old Faiza Tanveer turned to India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj for help on Twitter after her medical visa application was rejected by the Indian embassy.
“Thanks for your greetings on India’s Independence day. We are giving you the visa for your treatment in India,” Swaraj tweeted in response to Tanveer’s request for grant of a medical visa.
“Ma’am you are like a mother to me so please issue me a medical visa to help me out on the blissful occasion of the 70th year of independence. Thanks,” Tanveer, who is suffering from a recurrent ameloblastoma — an oral tumour which is aggressive in nature, wrote.
Tanveer had planned to visit the Inderprastha Dental College and Hospital (IDCH) in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh state and has already paid Rs 1 million for the treatment. However, the Indian High Commission rejected her visa application, citing the deteriorating relations between the two countries, according to her mother Parveen Akhtar.
Nonetheless, Akhtar was told by the embassy officials that her daughter could get a medical visa if the then adviser to prime minister on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz wrote to Swaraj, requesting for it. This led her mother to appeal to politicians in both the countries to help her obtain a medical visa.
Earlier, the Ghaziabad hospital had invited Tanveer and her mother for the treatment, leading to them requesting a 20-day medical visa. The girl’s mother said they had been told by local medical professionals that chemotherapy would be risky as the affected area was sensitive, given the proximity to the patient’s ears, nose and eyes.
They were also informed that the Jinnah Hospital could accept their case but that Tanveer’s eyeball would need to be removed, something the woman and her mother were not understandably ready to opt for. According to Akhtar, medical treatment in India was cheaper than in the US and Singapore while the IDCH had estimated the cost to be around $20,000.