In a goodwill gesture on India’s Independence Day, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced New Delhi will issue medical visas to Pakistani patients whose requests were pending with the Indian government.
India had introduced a condition that medical visas would be issued to Pakistani patients on the recommendation of Sartaj Aziz (former adviser to ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif) who has now been named as the deputy chairman of the planning commission by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Sushma had said that “those seeking medical visa for their treatment in India”, adding that she saw no reason for Sartaj Aziz to “hesitate to give his recommendation for nationals of his own country.”
However, on Tuesday, the Indian minister tweeted that New Delhi would grant medical visas in all bona fide cases pending with the Indian government.
On the auspicious occasion of India’s Independence day, we will grant medical visa in all bonafide cases pending with us. @IndiainPakistan
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) August 15, 2017
A number of Pakistanis travel to India for medical treatment; several hospitals have reported receiving as many as 500 patients a month, the NDTV reported. However, the medical visa process has slowed down after a military court sentenced Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav to death for espionage.
Rohaan Sadiq, a four-month infant from Pakistan who underwent heart surgery in Noida, Delhi recently passed away “due to dehydration”.