India to issue medical visas for Pakistanis

Published on Aug 17 2017 - - Featured, Gulf, NRI, Special - -

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announces medical visas will be provided to all bona-fide Pakistan patients

In a tweet on Tuesday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said: “On the auspicious occasion of India’s Independence day, we will grant a medical visa in all bonafide cases pending with us.”

As ties between the two countries soured over various issues, the ministry had announced in May that only a letter of recommendation by Pakistan Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz will enable a Pakistani national to get a medical visa for India.

The action was termed “highly regrettable” by Islamabad, who said that asking for a letter from the Foreign Affairs Adviser was “against diplomatic norms” and that “such a requirement has not been prescribed for any other country”.

However, on July 18, a patient from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, seeking treatment in New Delhi for a liver tumour, was granted a visa.

Swaraj said that he needed no recommendation from the Pakistan government for a medical visa because the territory is “an integral part of India”.

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