Saturday Jan 26 2019
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Dying Pakistani man in UK appeals for visas to meet family for last time

Nasarullah Khan, who is admitted in Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, has been told he only has a few days to live. Photo: Author

LONDON/BIRMINGHAM: A terminally-ill Pakistani father of two, who has been told by doctors that he only has a few days to live, has appealed to the British High Commission in Islamabad to grant visas to his family so he could meet them one last time.

Speaking to Geo News at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he’s fighting for his life, Nasarullah Khan appealed to British High Commissioner Thomas Drew and Director General Inter Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor to assist his wife and two children in travelling to meet him.

“I have no hope left but it is my last wish is to see my sons, aged 9 and 11. My family applied for their visa two weeks ago but have not yet been issued them by the British High Commission. Thomas Drew can take a look at my case and help issue visas to my family. Major General Asif Ghafoor can help me a lot if he’s made aware of my case. I know he has helped many people in genuine need.”

Nasarullah Khan only has a few days to live as he suffered heart and acute organ failure.

He lamented that he has made several appeals to the Pakistan High Commission in London and to the Pakistani government but to no avail.

Last week, the Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital sent Nasarullah a bill of £32,000 as he is not entitled to free treatment owing to his foreign status. Nasarullah has spent even last penny on his treatment and has no money left to pay the hospital bill.

He was refused a lifesaving transplant just before Christmas because of his immigration status. Nasrullah has been living in the United Kingdom for nine years but entered the country on a six-month tourist visa and overstayed, doing menial jobs and not being able to regularise his status. Under the Home Office's immigration rules, only patients with “Indefinite Leave to Remain” are entitled to free medical treatment.

Nasrullah’s younger brother Faisal Hanif is a British national who lives in Birmingham and is currently taking care of him in the hospital.

Nasrullah cannot travel to Pakistan owing to his illness and is eagerly waiting to see his family for one last time.

Faisal Hanif told that his brother’s wife and children applied for visas through “fast track” application but the High Commission has not responded yet. “My brother is connected by tubes to a drip and can only walk a few steps at a time. He only has a few days left to live,” he said.

Elisabeth Bates, a Birmingham GP who is working with Doctors of the World, has started a campaign for the Pakistani patient and has written a moving piece in a local paper in support of Nasarullah. Dr Bates said: “My patient has been denied life-saving treatment because of where he was born [Pakistan]. Nasar has found himself unable to go home and without his family at a time when he is facing the end of his life. A family visa application with ample supporting evidence was submitted, by fast track application over two weeks ago, to no response from the Home Office other than 'wait'. Each day that goes by is time he could be spending with his family.”

I am profoundly worried by the impact on him should the visa be further delayed or refused, Dr Bates added.

Meanwhile, the hospital in a statement said that it will continue to provide care to Nasaraullah in line with Home Office guidance that states “urgent and immediately necessary care should never be withheld or delayed”.

British HC seeks details

British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew has sought details of Nasarullah Khan’s appeal.

“Please send me the details and I will see how we can help,” Drew tweeted on Saturday.



You can help Nasarullah’s family visit him here.