Sartaz Aziz-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pakistan
Indian Defence News: New Delhi-Recent change in Visa rules for Pakistan comes against the backdrop of increasing tensions between the two countries.
Indian Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday about the change in Visa policy for patients from Pakistan, India will only consider medical visas for Pakistani patients if the application is backed by a recommendation from Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz.
India has not stopped giving medical visas to Pakistani nationals, Gopal Baglay Foreign Ministry spokesperson said to a question on reports about difficulties faced by Pakistani nationals in getting the visa. “In previous years, thousands of medical visas have been issued to Pakistani citizens”.
Sushma Swaraj had received many such requests on social media and on emails in the recent past, as she is quite active on social media and frequently responds to help out people, mostly Indian citizens. But there have been several instances where Ms Swaraj has helped out foreign individuals.
Similar such case happened when she allowed world’s heaviest woman Eman Ahmed to get the treatment done in India, all the required permits and visa was arranged within 24 hours.
Mr Baglay said the change in rule had been made in order to ascertain that the requests received from Pakistan are genuine. “We have suggested that their Foreign Minister or Foreign Affairs Advisor give a recommendation letter,” he said.
The change has certainly come at the time when both the countries are hitting the lowest diplomatic relations, especially over the death row of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian national sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on what India insists are cooked up charges. Last month, India told Pakistan that if it carries out the sentence, the execution would be treated as “pre-meditated murder”.
In the last couple of weeks itself, India has raised the concern to authorities in Islamabad over the mutilation of Indian soldiers in Kashmir valley. India had called the third instance of mutilation of Indian soldiers “barbaric and inhuman”, also Government in New Delhi cancelled the entry of 50 Pakistani teenagers under the exchange program arranged by an NGO in Delhi.