A Pakistan foreign affairs ministry spokesperson has said the restrictions placed by India on medical visas were “against diplomatic norms”.
When asked during a questions/answers session of how the ministry felt about India placing an “entire onus of non-issuance of visas” on the people of Pakistan, the spokesperson replied that such restrictions were not placed on other countries.
“It is highly regrettable that India has placed such restrictions on visas for patients who are suffering from serious and terminal illnesses,” he noted.
“Asking for a letter from the foreign affairs adviser is against diplomatic norms. Such a requirement has not been prescribed for any other country. We are making suitable alternative arrangements, both within Pakistan as well as in friendly countries,” said spokesperson Nafees Zakaria.
India had recently imposed sanctions on Pakistan and said only those who had a formal letter from the foreign affairs adviser would be granted visa for medical purposes. This has led to a rise in cases of Pakistani citizens who need to go through a long and painful process to acquire visas for medical care.
The issuance came after tensions between the two countries started to grow rapidly, and India stated that Foreign affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz would have to review every applicant before Indian High Commission would issue visas.
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