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India disrupting Pak-Afghan ties, says Rehman Malik

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New Delhi: Former Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik alleged on Wednesday that India was disrupting the normalcy in the Pak-Afghan bilateral relations.

Rehman Malik, who currently serves as the chairman of the Senate standing committee on interior and narcotics control, said the Indian leadership and intelligence agencies did not want Pakistan and Afghanistan to resolve their outstanding bilateral issues through dialogues.

Malik’s allegations came at a time when Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in Islamabad to attend the Heart of Asia conference. He further alleged that Indian intelligence agencies, including Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), were instigating and funding militancy in Balochistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Karachi.

“Whenever Pakistan makes efforts to open talks with Afghanistan to resolve issues involving the two countries, Indians create hurdles,” Malik blamed.

He called upon the Nawaz Sharif government to take up the issue of Indian alleged interference with Sushma Swaraj. Claiming that there was enough evidence testifying India’s role in destabilising Pakistan, Malik asked Nawaz Sharif to make public the evidence and table them before Sushma Swaraj.

Rehman also said that Pakistan should raise the burning issues of Kashmir and water sharing of common rivers with India at the conference.

Underscoring the need for a peaceful Afghanistan, Malik said, the subversive activities in the war-ravaged nation was overflowing into the Pakistani lands and making situation volatile there.

In a bid to restore peace and stability in the militancy-infested Afghanistan, Pakistan had made sacrifices and contributed massively for mutual benefit, Malik added.

Earlier, Pakistan invited Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference held in Islamabad on 7th and 8th December. The Afghan conference was aimed at addressing the unstable condition of Afghanistan.

Azerbaijan, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the UAE attended the conference.

(With inputs from agencies)

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India’s Diwali Promise, Medical Visas to All Deserving

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Shushma Swaraj
External Affairs Minister Shushma Swaraj. IANS

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)

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