New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said a patient from Pakistan-administered Kashmir who is seeking treatment in New Delhi for a liver tumour needed no recommendation from the Pakistan government for a medical visa because the territory is “an integral part of India”.
Osama Ali, 24, who has been diagnosed with a liver tumour, had reportedly sought visa to travel to New Delhi for treatment. However, he has not been given a recommendation letter by Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs — a clause India has made mandatory for medical visas.
As ties between the two countries soured over various issues, including the death sentence on Kulbhushan Jadhav, India made Aziz’s recommendation compulsory for Pakistani patients seeking medical visa to travel to the country.
Sushma Swaraj said patients from the parts of Kashmir under Pakistani control needed no such letters because the territory is part of India.
“PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) is an integral part of India. Pakistan has illegally occupied it. We are giving him (Ali) visa. No letter required,” the Minister tweeted.
Ali, who lives in Rawlakot of Pakistani Kashmir, is to get treatment at a private Delhi hospital where he has been suggested liver transplant.
Sushma Swaraj had earlier this month launched a scathing attack against Pakistan’s top diplomat, questioning why he was hesitating to write recommendations for Pakistanis seeking medical treatment in India.
“I see no reason why should he hesitate to give his recommendation for nationals of his own country. I am sure Sartaj Aziz also has consideration for the nationals of his country,” the Minister said in a series of tweets on July 10 in which she also raised the issue of alleged Indian spy Jadhav, who is on death row in Pakistan.
She said he had personally written to Aziz regarding the visa to Jadhav’s mother Avantika who wanted to meet her son, who has been kept at an unknown military prison.