Doctors seek Indian visa to go to occupied Kashmir

Published September 6, 2019
The doctors are concerned about public health and healthcare situation in occupied Kashmir. — AFP/File
The doctors are concerned about public health and healthcare situation in occupied Kashmir. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Represen­ta­­tives of Pakistani medics on Thursday reques­ted the Indian High Com­mission to give them access to occupied Kashmir with medicines on humanitarian grounds.

“I met the Indian High Commission’s First Secre­tary (Economics and Com­merce) Ashish Sharma and handed him an application to issue visas to 21 doctors who want to go to occupied Kashmir so that medical treatment would be provided to Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, etc, who have been deprived of medical facilities due to over a month-long curfew in the occupied valley,” Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences (UHS) Prof Dr Javed Akram said while talking to Dawn.

On Aug 30, the UHS and Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM) had signed a declaration that a multidisciplinary team of doctors would be sent to the occupied valley to provide medical treatment to Kash­miris. It was also decided that the team would take the medicines along with it.

Speaking about his meeting with Mr Sharma, Dr Akram said that he had to discuss a number of issues related to mutual cooperation in the health sector.

“I also took up the issue of the miseries of people of occupied Kashmir and requested Mr Sharma to play his role in getting visa for a team of 21 doctors led by me. I also told him that we are ready to go without cell phone, watches and even can go barefooted, ” he said.

“Initially Mr Sharma said that there was no humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir and the situation was under control. However, I replied that, in that case, we should be allowed to go there and after returning we will hold a press conference to inform the public that the situation in occupied Kash­mir was normal,” he said.

“However, the diplomat said that it was not possible to provide a safe corridor. I told him that we are willing to go there at our own risk and will give in writing that we will be responsible in case of any incident or casualty of our team members. Mr Sharma was initially hesitant to receive the letter, but finally he received it. We requested him to take up the issue with his government and allow us to enter occupied Kashmir through the Line of Control. Moreover, I told him that, in case of refusal, we will try to go there without visa,” he said.

According to the letter, addressed to the deputy high commissioner of India and available with Dawn, the doctors were concerned about the public health and healthcare situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2019

Opinion

Editorial

Breaking the deadlock
09 Dec, 2022

Breaking the deadlock

It is time for PDM and PTI to show flexibility and realise that the future of over 240m people is at stake.
A targeted killing
09 Dec, 2022

A targeted killing

IF there were any doubts about a sinister, transnational plot to kill journalist Arshad Sharif, the 592-page report...
Dog-bite epidemic
09 Dec, 2022

Dog-bite epidemic

AN exploding population of stray canines has fuelled a dog-bite epidemic in Sindh, with the provincial health...
Worsening hunger
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Worsening hunger

THAT the dollar liquidity crunch has started hurting the import of essential items such as vegetables and raw...
Bannu beheading
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Bannu beheading

The state must take up the cudgels and neutralise barbarism before it spreads.
Smog misery
08 Dec, 2022

Smog misery

IF 2022 has taught us anything, it is that generations of reckless disregard for Mother Nature has accrued very ...