External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj continues to act promptly and decisively when it comes to visa requests on medical grounds. On Saturday she assured a medical visa to a Pakistani national who reportedly tweeted that after Allah, Sushma was his last hope. Swaraj has helped four Pakistani nationals with medical visas all of whom need to undergo treatment in India urgently.
According to news websites one Shahzaib Iqbal (@ShahveerRajput) tweeted on November 24th, "After ALLAH you are our last hope.. kindly allow Islamabad embassy (meaning Indian High Commission) to issue us medical visa." The request was acted upon quickly. "India will not belie your hope. We will issue the visa immediately," Sushma Swaraj tweeted in response.
Sushma may have replied but Shahzaib Iqbal, perhaps fearing a backlash from trolls in Pakistan, now seems to have disappeared from twitter. Not only is his tweet unavailable, when we clicked on the link on Swaraj's tweet it lead us to a notification page.
Swaraj, however, cleared visas for other Pakistani nationals on medical grounds as well. "Yes. We will give you the medical visa," she said in response to a request from Sajida Baksh who said that she underwent a liver transplant but developed complications and now needed urgent follow-up. She also assured a visa to Kishwar Sultana who is awaiting liver transplant in a hospital in Noida.As ties between the two countries soured over various issues, the ministry had announced in May that only a letter of recommendation by then Pakistan Prime Minister's Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz would enable a Pakistani national to get a medical visa for India. However, Pakistani nationals seeking medical treatment have not been denied visas.