Pakistani nationals will now need Sartaj Aziz letter to get Indian medical visa | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Pakistani nationals will now need Sartaj Aziz letter to get Indian medical visa

india Updated: May 10, 2017 21:32 IST
Jayanth Jacob
The external affairs ministry on Wednesday said Pakistani nationals seeking medical visa to India will now have to furnish a letter of recommendation by Pakistan foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz.

The external affairs ministry on Wednesday said Pakistani nationals seeking medical visa to India will now have to furnish a letter of recommendation by Pakistan foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz.(AP)

Pakistani nationals seeking medical visa to India will now have to furnish a letter of recommendation by Pakistan foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz, the external affairs ministry said a move reflective of the strained ties between the two neighbours.

Though MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay termed as “baseless” reports that India has stopped giving medical visas to Pakistani citizens, he made it clear that only a recommendation letter by Aziz will be cleared “immediately”.

“We have suggested that their foreign minister or foreign affairs advisor Sartaz Aziz give a recommendation letter and it will be cleared immediately, without any delay,” he said, adding the insistence on a recommendation letter would enable to ascertain that the requests received from Pakistan are genuine.

He also referred to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj herself receiving these requests on social media and on emails. It is difficult to ascertain authenticity of such requests, he added.

He also asserted that “in previous years, thousands of medical visas have been issued to Pakistani citizens to come to India and benefit from the health facilities here.”

India’s decision to impose the condition on medical visas for Pakistani nationals comes in the backdrop of growing tension with Islamabad.