New Delhi: India on Sunday issued yet another medical visa to a Pakistani woman seeking an urgent liver transplant. “We are giving Visa for the liver transplant surgery of Ms.Farzana Ijaz in India,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted in reply to a request from M. Mohsin who describes himself as “a political student keeping a keen eye on day to developments” and made the appeal for his aunt. This is the seventh such visa issued by India to Pakistani nationals this month. Last month too, India issued a medical visa to a Pakistani child seeking open heart surgery in India. On Independence Day, the External Affairs Ministry had announced that India would provide medical visas to all bona fide Pakistani patients. 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. 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. Sushma 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, Pakistani nationals seeking medical treatment have not been denied visas.
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