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Sushma Swaraj attacks Pakistan for denying visa to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother

LiveMint logoLiveMint 10-07-2017 Mayank Aggarwal

New Delhi: India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday attacked Pakistan for denying visa to the mother of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is facing death sentence in Pakistan, and said that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s advisor on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, failed to even respond to the minister’s personal letter on the issue.

Swaraj, however, assured that India would immediately issue medical visas to Pakistani nationals for treatment in India if they are recommended by Aziz.

“I have my sympathies for all Pakistan nationals seeking medical visa for their treatment in India. I am sure Mr. Sartaj Aziz also has consideration for the nationals of his country. All that we require is his recommendation for the grant of medical visa to Pakistan nationals,” said Swaraj, in a string of tweets on Monday morning.

“I see no reason why should he hesitate to give his recommendation for nationals of his own country,” she added.

Pakistani nationals frequently travel to India for complex medical issues and, according to a PTI report, every month India gets about 500 patients from Pakistan.

“We also have a visa application pending for an Indian national Avantika Jadhav who wants to meet her son in Pakistan against whom they have pronounced a death sentence. I wrote a personal letter to Mr. Sartaj Aziz for the grant of her visa to Pakistan. However, Mr. Aziz has not shown the courtesy even to acknowledge my letter,” she said.

But “Pakistan nationals seeking medical visa with a recommendation from Mr. Sartaj Aziz” will be issued visa immediately, she said.

Retired Indian Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav, 46, is facing death sentence in Pakistan. In April, a military court in Pakistan handed the death sentence to Jadhav for alleged espionage and subversive activities.

While India says Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, Pakistan maintains that he was arrested from Balochistan province in Pakistan. India also alleges Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations after its 16 requests for access to the former naval officer were denied.

Following that, India had approached the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in May 2017 in its interim verdict, ruled unanimously that Pakistan shall take all measures to ensure that Jadhav is not executed, pending the final decision in these proceedings and shall inform the court of all the measures taken in implementation of the present order.

Meanwhile, as far as cases of medical visas are concerned, this is not the first time that Swaraj has reacted on a request on Twitter.

In June, India issued a medical visa to a two-and-a-half-month-old baby from Pakistan, suffering from a heart disease, after his father sought Swaraj’s intervention. The infant’s father had brought the matter to her notice on Twitter.

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