Pakistan thanks Turkey for youth’s cancer treatment

Pakistan has thanked Turkey for providing medical treatment to a Pakistani national, who was suffering from liver cancer.

Osama Ali Khan, a 24-year-old resident of Azad Kashmir, had refused to travel to India in July this year after being declared as an Indian citizen by the Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Sawraj.

According to Sawraj, the part of Kashmir Osama belongs to is an integral part of India.

Following the refusal, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry in August contacted the Turkish government, which agreed to provide subsidized and expedited health services for Osama's liver cancer treatment.

A visa was immediately issued to the patient and his family members by the Turkish Embassy in Islamabad, enabling them to fly to Turkey, where he was treated on August 23.

Sharing his feelings with newsmen at the Foreign Office on Wednesday, Osama thanked the government and the people for Turkey, who treated him and his family with warmth and hospitality.

At no point did I feel that I was away from my home. They took care of even the minutest details and today I stand in front of you in a much better condition, recovering fast from a life-threatening ailment, he said.

I feel grateful due to the excellent environment and mental/psychological satisfaction provided to me and my family, along with commendable medical treatment at the hospital in Turkey, Osama added.

Foreign Office Spokesman Mohammad Faisal in his remarks said his country deeply appreciated the facilitation provided by Turkey throughout the process.

He (Osama) received impeccable healthcare in Turkey. This save his life and you can see a hale and hearty Osama sitting next to me. We deeply appreciate the facilitation provided by Turkey throughout the process, he said.

Scores of Pakistanis visit India for the medical treatment, mainly heart surgery and liver transplant due to much cheaper costs compared with the U.S. and the Europe. However, fraught diplomatic relations compounded by frequent border clashes since September last year, has propelled New Delhi to restrict the issuance of medical visas.

India issued only five medical visas to Pakistanis patients seeking urgent treatment in October last, while only one visa was issued to a Pakistani patient in September this year.

Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Sawraj last month announced that India would provide medical visas to all bona fide Pakistani patients.

Earlier, in May, the external ministry had announced that it would provide medical visas to only those patients who presented a letter of recommendation from Pakistan's then foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz, a move which was termed highly regrettable by Islamabad.

Source: Anadolu Agency