Pakistan accuses India of ‘politicising’ humanitarian issues

The neighbouring country said India’s selective issuance of medical visas to its citizens was not a gesture of compassion but “cold blooded politicking”.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2017 21:04 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Islamabad
India-Pakistan ties,Medical visa,Indian high commission
Pakistani rangers and Border Security Force officers lower their national flags during a daily parade at the Pakistan-India joint check-post at Wagah border.(Reuters)

Pakistan on Thursday accused India of “politicising” humanitarian issues and said selective issuance of medical visas to its citizens was not a gesture of compassion but “cold blooded politicking”.

Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said the Indian policy of selective issuance of medical visa to Pakistanis was “regrettable”.

Addressing the weekly media briefing, Faisal said India continued to politicise humanitarian issues, which was more reprehensible as many patients have been consulting Indian doctors for a long time on their own expense.

“No one is fooled by Indian gimmickry. This is not a gesture of compassion but cold blooded politicking under which individuals are picked at will for political mileage,” he said.

Faisal’s remarks came days after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj asked the Indian high commission in Islamabad to grant a visa to a Pakistani woman for a liver transplant in India.

Her intervention came after Sadia, the ailing woman’s daughter, last week requested Swaraj for grant of a visa to her mother.

Swaraj has been adopting a humanitarian approach in granting visas to Pakistani nationals on medical ground notwithstanding strain in relationship between the two sides over a host of sticky issues, including cross-border terrorism.

First Published: Nov 23, 2017 21:02 IST