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Monday Jun 10 2019

Dying father awaits UK visa for daughter he has never met

Mehboob Alam,65, has never met his 13-year-old daughter Safa Mehboob 

LONDON: A terminally ill Pakistani cancer patient awaits a visa for United Kingdom for his only daughter to meet him for the first and last time.

Mehboob Alam,65, has never met his 13-year-old daughter Safa Mehboob who was born after Alam came to the UK looking for a better life but never regularised his immigration status and continued to live illegally after the expiry of his visit visa over 12 years ago. He is now so ill that doctors have advised him against travelling and no airline will let him on board with his condition.

There is a ray of hope for dying Mehboob Alam as Thomas Drew, British High Commissioner to Pakistan, has asked his daughter to apply for the British visa and provided details for her to apply and forward him. 

The British envoy offered his help after Tebraiz Aurah, reporter for a Pakistani news channel from London, highlighted the case of dying Pakistani man in a tweet.

While tagging British High Commissioner, Tebraiz Aurah tweeted: “Terminally ill cancer patient Mehboob Alam issues appeal from Newham hospital. I have few weeks of life remaining I cannot travel to Pak because doctors not allowing me. Plz help my daughter get UK visa so I could meet her first & last time.”

The British High Commissioner responded by providing an email address for her to apply and inform him: “Has she applied? Could you please get in touch with the details?”

Speaking to Geo News from his hospital bed at the Newham General Hospital in East London, Mehboob Alam thanked the British High Commissioner for taking notice of his situation. “I am thankful to the High Commissioner for listening to my appeal. My daughter was born a few weeks after I left Lahore and I have not met her in 13 years. I have only a few days of life remaining and it’s my last wish to see my daughter before I die."

Dr Rebecca Mauson of Newham University Hospital has written a letter of support, requesting permission for Alam’s family to visit him. She wrote: “This letter is to state that the patient Mehboob Alam, currently an inpatient at the Newham General Hospital is unwell with an illness that is likely terminal. He has requested – and this seems reasonable – that given his situation, his family should be allowed permission to travel to this country and visit him here in the final months.”

Mehboob Alam was born in Main Bazar Old Anarkali, Lahore. He did menial jobs before coming to London in search of better future but failed to make headway. Mahboob Alam’s wife died as a cancer patient few years ago. A family friend told that Safa lives with her aunt in Sargodha.

Mehboob Alam was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last year. He has been receiving treatment since then but doctors have told him that his condition incurable. Around three weeks ago, he booked tickets to travel to Pakistan but failed to get travel documents from Pakistan High Commission and then his health condition deteriorated further.

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