New Delhi: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Sunday sought External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s intervention to ensure the safe return of about 200 Keralites stranded in Yemen.
Chandy, who arrived here on Saturday night to take part in a farmers rally of the Congress, conveyed his concerns about the safety of the Keralites, mostly male and female nurses, to the central government.
His office told IANS that Chandy was in touch with the external affairs ministry.
“The problem is the Indian embassy has shut in Yemen and it now operates from Djibouti. People who wish to return say that fighting has intensified in Yemen,” an official said.
“The stranded people will be able to return only through diplomatic efforts at the highest level,” it said.
A Saudi Arabia-led coalition has been bombing Houthi group across Yemen since March 26 when Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi fled to Riyadh.
The Houthis control much of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa.
New Delhi, October 19: Marking the auspicious occasion of Diwali, India on Thursday made a Diwali promise medical visas all those people abroad, including in Pakistan, seeking treatment.
“On the auspicious occasion of Deepawali, India will grant a medical visa in all deserving cases pending today,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.
Keeping to a promise made on Independence Day, India on Wednesday issued six more medical visas to Pakistani nationals, including three children.
“We will issue visa to facilitate treatment of your eight-year-old child in India,” Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Wednesday night in response to a request from Nazir Ahmed who said that his son Mohammad Ahmed was awaiting a medical visa from India for one year.
In a separate tweet, she also promised a visa to Muhammad Asif Malik’s son, who is currently in an intensive care unit (ICU) in children’s hospital in Lahore, and to Kasif Chacha’s child who is running out of medicine.
Visas were also issued to Irfan Ahmed Shaikh, Nasir Mahmood and the mother of Rafique Menon for liver surgeries.
This month, Sushma Swaraj has announced the issuance of 19 medical visas to Pakistanis for treatment in India as Diwali promise.
Last month, India issued a medical visa to a Pakistani child seeking open heart surgery.
On Independence Day, the External Affairs Ministry made a Diwali promise that India would provide medical visas to all bonafide Pakistani patients.
As ties between the two countries soured over various issues, the ministry had announced in May that only a letter of recommendation by then Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz would enable a Pakistani national to get a medical visa for India.
The action was termed “highly regrettable” by Islamabad, which said that asking for such a letter violated diplomatic norms and such a requirement had not been prescribed for any other country.
However, on July 18, a patient from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, seeking treatment in New Delhi for a liver tumor, got a visa.
Sushma Swaraj then said that he needed no recommendation from the Pakistani government for a medical visa because the territory “is an integral part of India”.
Since August 15, however, Pakistani nationals seeking medical treatment have not been denied visas.(IANS)