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Tuesday Jan 29 2019
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UK issues visas to family of dying Pakistani man on compassionate grounds

LONDON/BIRMINGHAM: The final wish of a terminally ill Pakistani heart patient Nasar Ullah Khan has been fulfilled as the British High Commission has issued visas to his wife and two sons.

Speaking exclusively to Geo and The News from Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Nasar Ullah Khan confirmed that the British High Commission approved visit visas for his wife and children. He said that the British High Commission in Pakistan has issued six-month visit visas to his wife Sania Butt, sons Muhammad Abdullah, 11, and Muhammad Saifullah, 09.

Nasar Ullah Khan had issued an emotional appeal to Britain’s envoy Thomas Drew and Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor to assist him in securing visas so that he could meet his family for the last time. Khan is terminally ill and doctors have told him that he has only days to live.

Khan said: “I have no words to thank Thomas Drew and his staff for being so swift and compassionate. He took personal interest in my case and within hours of my appeal to him visas were issued for my family. My wife received a call on Monday from the High Commission and was told about the good news. I have not seen my children in nine years and it was my last wish to see them as doctors have given up on me. I am thankful to Major General Asif Ghafoor for showing interest in my case. I cannot say much at this stage but Major General Asif Ghafoor has been in touch and his office is helping my family.”

Khan’s younger brother Faisal Hanif shared that the British High Commission staff has been extremely kind to his family and worked on processing the family’s visa applications on the weekend. “We are so thankful to the British High Commissioner for his compassion. Within hours of the appeal made by my brother, our family was facilitated and all arrangements were put in place. A staff member of Pakistan High Commission has also visited us in the hospital over the weekend and took details of the case.”

The DG ISPR and British High Commissioner had assured to help the terminally-ill Pakistani after his story was highlighted by Geo News and The News.

Replying to a tweet by this correspondent on the weekend, Thomas Drew had assured of his help and, while seeking details of the case, said: “I will see how we can help.”

The DG ISPR, the spokesman for the Pakistan Army, had also assured of full support. He said: “Our prayers are with Nasar Ullah Khan and his family. We will get any support or facilitation from Pakistan Army as Pakistani citizens.”

After Mr Drew’s tweet, details of the visa applicants were passed to him by the family through this reporter. Nasar Ullah Khan has not seen his children in nine years because he overstayed his visa and has been unable to regularise his status in nine years.

Nasar Ullah Khan has a short time to live, due to end-stage heart failure and he’s suffering from acute organ failure too. Last week, the Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital sent him a bill of £32,000 for the treatment he has received at the hospital because he is a foreigner who is not entitled to free treatment. He was refused a lifesaving transplant just before Christmas because of his immigration status.

Under the Home Office's immigration rules, only patients with an “indefinite leave to remain” are entitled to free medical treatment. His younger brother Faisal Hanif is a British national and lives in Birmingham and is currently taking care of him in the hospital. Nasar Ullah Khan’s condition is so weak that doctors have told him he will be endangering his life if he travelled.