ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Wednesday lamented India’s policy of denying medical visas to Pakistani patients and informed reporters that a Pakistani cancer patient, who was snubbed by India, had returned home after a successful surgery in Turkey.
Flanked by Osama Ali Khan, who had to travel to Turkey for liver cancer treatment after India denied him a medical visa, FO spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said New Delhi was playing politics over humanitarian issues.
“India is continuing to impose a condition on Pakistani patients seeking medical treatment in India that they must possess a reference letter from the foreign minister to be granted a visa,” he told reporters at a press conference.
“The Indian’s government attitude towards these patients is inhuman and a tactic to create more difficulties for them,” he added.
The FO spokesperson thanked the Turkish government for issuing a visa to Osama on an urgent basis.
Sharing his experience, Osama said he appreciated the efforts of the people who had worked tirelessly and explored all options available to save his life.
“When I was diagnosed with liver cancer earlier this year, I had come to know after an exhaustive search that its treatment was only available in India,” he recalled.
Osama immediately applied for an Indian visa, but to his “utter disappointment and shock, his purely humanitarian request was politicised”.
“In response to my request, the Indian government chose to play up the Jammu and Kashmir dispute by falsely calling Jammu and Kashmir an integral part of India and the residents of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Indian citizens,” he remarked.
“I vehemently reject India’s false claims on the Jammu and Kashmir issue,” he added.
After this episode, the Pakistani government came to Osama’s rescue and immediately contacted the Turkish government for his treatment.
He went to Turkey on August 5 and underwent surgery on August 27.