Sushma Swaraj’s Diwali Promise: Medical Visas To The Deserving
On Diwali, India on Thursday promised medical visas to all those people abroad, including those in Pakistan, seeking treatment.
On Wednesday, she issued six more medical visas to Pakistani nationals, including three children.
This month, Sushma Swaraj has announced the issuance of 19 medical visas to Pakistanis for treatment in India.
As ties between the two countries soured over various issues, the ministry had announced in May that only a letter of recommendation from Pakistan Prime Minister's Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz would enable a Pakistani national to get a medical visa for India.
The action was termed "highly regrettable" by Islamabad, which said that asking for such a letter violated diplomatic norms and such a requirement had not been prescribed for any other country.
However, on July 18, a patient from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, seeking treatment in New Delhi for liver tumour, got a visa. Swaraj then said that he needed no recommendation from the Pakistani government for a medical visa because the territory "is an integral part of India".
Since August 15, however, Pakistani nationals seeking medical treatment have not been denied visas.
(Breathe In, Breathe Out: Are you finding it tough to breathe polluted air? Join hands with FIT in partnership with #MyRightToBreathe to find a solution to pollution. Send in your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp @ +919999008335)
(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.)