7 October NEW DELHI (India)- External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday used her ‘social media diplomacy’ to come to the rescue of two Pakistani citizens+ yet again, assuring them of visas within hours of their requests, even as tensions between the two countries mount.
“We are issuing visa for the open heart surgery of your 3 year old daughter in India. We also pray for her speedy recovery here,” Swaraj wrote in response to Lahoreresident Uzair Humayun’s request for visa for his 3-year-old daughter who suffers from heart disease.
“My 3yrs old daughter needs urgent heart surgery,kindly help me in issuing visa. I’ll be grateful to you Regards,” Humayun had written to Swaraj on Friday.
Soon after – in a matter of minutes – Swaraj assured medical visa to another Pakistani citizen in need of a liver transplant.
“Yes, Noorma. We are allowing visa for the liver transplant of your father in India. We wish him a successful surgery and a long life,” Swaraj tweeted to Noorma Habib.
Habib had on October 6 requested urgent help for her father, who was “in bad condition.”
“@SushmaSwaraj we applied for indian medical visa for liver transplant of my father he is in bad condition.We will be thankful to u. Plz help,” she had tweeted.
This is not the first time the minister has taken to social media to help those across the border in immediate need of medical treatment.
On the occasion of India’s 70th Independence Day in August this year, Swaraj assured a Pakistani woman suffering from cancer that she would be granted a visa for treatment in India.
But Swaraj has often hit out at the Pakistani authorities for complicating the process for citizens.
In July, she assured a medical visa to another Pakistani individual, while hitting out at her counterpart Sartaj Aziz for not providing a letter that is stipulated as part of the rules.
Swaraj has also not shied away from using social media to make a point or two about India and its territorial sovereignty.
In an incident earlier this year, Swaraj assured a visa to a man from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), without any letter from Aziz. Swaraj said the rules do not apply to the individual in question, essentially reiterating that PoK “is an integral part of India.”