By allowing medical visa for PoK man, Swaraj conveys strong message to Pakistan

Sushma Swaraj


  • ‘PoK is an integral part of India. Pakistan has illegally occupied it’, Swaraj tweeted
  • Therefore, a PoK man will easily get a medical visa to India, without any letter required from Pakistan’s foreign office, she said

NEW DELHI: Union minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday conveyed an important message to Pakistan when she said India will issue a medical visa to an ailing man from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK). That message is – PoK belongs to India.

New Indian rules stipulate that Pakistanis applying for a medical visa to India must get a letter from their foreign affairs chief Sartaj Aziz.

Swaraj said though that these rules do not apply to the PoK resident. Why? Because PoK “is an integral part of India”.

Here’s what the external affairs minister tweeted in her usual direct and forthright manner:

The 24-year-old PoK man has been diagnosed with a tumour in the liver and wishes to travel to New Delhi for treatment, said ANI. He wants a medical emergency visa to India.

It appears he will get that visa.

The minister’s salvo on Tuesday follows her blistering tweets from last week, when she slammed Aziz for not having “the courtesy even to acknowledge” her letter to him urging he grant a visa to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother.

Jadhav is the Indian national on death row in Pakistan.

Swaraj as much as said that it’s Aziz’s fault that Pakistanis in need of urgent medical attention are unable to come to India. She assured Pakistanis that India is happy to grant medical visas and hoped Aziz “has consideration for the nationals of his country”.

The external affairs minister pointed to recently-changed rules that stipulate Pakistanis wanting a visa for urgent medical treatment must get a letter from Aziz. “But I assure Pakistan nationals seeking medical visa with a recommendation from Mr.Sartaj Aziz, we will issue the visa immediately,” said Swaraj.

The minister talked about how India too has a visa application pending “for an Indian national Mrs Avantika Jadhav who wants to meet her son in Pakistan”. It takes a beat to realise she’s talking about the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian national sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan, for allegedly “spying”.

Swaraj said just like the letters Aziz must write for the medical visas, she, too wrote a “personal letter” to him for the grant of Avantika Jadhav’s visa.

 “However, Mr Aziz has not shown the courtesy even to acknowledge my letter,” she said.


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