Sushma Swaraj's Diwali gift: Medical visas to all deserving Pakistanis
Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has a delightful gift for Pakistanis this Diwali: she announced India will grant medical visas to all citizens in deserving cases. This comes days after she urged the Indian High Commission in Pakistan to issue visas for several patients, including a cancer-diagnosed child, a bone marrow transplant patient and two liver transplant patients.
'India will grant medical visa in all deserving cases pending'
When Swaraj's humanitarian work made a strong political statement
In July, Swaraj sent a strong message to Islamabad that PoK belonged to India: she granted a medical visa to a PoK resident. Osama Ali had alleged Pakistan's Foreign Ministry adviser Sartaj Aziz had refused to write to Indian High Commission for his visa. Swaraj cemented her stand by stating that visa rules weren't applicable to PoK as it is an integral part of India.
Swaraj has often broken protocol for people in need
For individuals from Pakistan, it is necessary to obtain visa clearances from the department of visa clearance, Ministry of Home Affairs. This has often been excused by Swaraj on humanitarian grounds as Pakistan allegedly complicates the process for its citizens.