Thursday Sep 23 2021

Umer Sharif's family can't travel with him in air ambulance to US: sources

Pakistani actor and comedian Umer Sharif. Photo: Geo News screengrab
Pakistani actor and comedian Umer Sharif. Photo: Geo News screengrab

  • No member of Umer Sharif's family will be able to travel in air ambulance, say air ambulance company sources.
  • Air ambulance has to make two stops before it lands in Washington, say sources.
  • Patient gets exemption for visas of countries plane has a stopover at, but those travelling with patient do not get this exemption.

KARACHI: Well-known veteran actor and comedian Umer Sharif's family members won't be able to travel with him in the air ambulance set to shift him to the United States for medical treatment, Geo News reported Thursday, citing sources.

The air ambulance has to make two stops before it lands in Washington, the sources said, adding that all passengers must have a visa to land at the airports of the stopover destinations.

Patient gets exemption for the visas of countries the plane has a stopover at, the air ambulance company said. However, those travelling with the patient do not get this exemption and must have European and Canadian visas.

Sources said time is short and hence, Umar Sharif's family members cannot get visas immediately.

All four members of the legendary artist's family will fly to the US on their own, the television channel reported.

Sources in the Sindh government said that the air ambulance is expected to arrive in Karachi within the next three days.

On September 20, the Sindh government, in a letter written to the Ministry of Finance, requested the federal government to allow an air ambulance for Umer Sharif to enter Pakistan's air space. The Sindh health department said that the province will bear the expenses of the air ambulance.

However, matters related to airspace and aviation come under the federal government, the letter read. According to the letter, the health department urged the federal government to resolve all issues related to an air ambulance "as soon as possible".

Wahab told Geo News on September 18 that the US government has issued visas to the ailing comedian and his family members for his medical treatment in the US.

In a statement earlier, Zareen Umer, the comedian's wife, had said preparations for the entertainer's treatment had been completed at United States' George Washington Hospital.

The entertainer's wife said the US government had issued visas to them, and now, there were no hurdles in their departure to the states.

Umer Sharif is currently under treatment at a private hospital in Karachi for multiple ailments and had requested Prime Minister Imran Khan to expedite his US visa process for surgery abroad.

Payment made for Umer Sharif's air ambulance, Murtaza Wahab confirms

A day earlier, Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said the Sindh government had paid for Umer Sharif's air ambulance.

He had said Rs28.4 million was paid to relocate Umer Sharif to the US.

However, when contacted, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Pakistan had said they have not received any request for the landing of an air ambulance so far, according to sources.

Meanwhile, shedding light on Umer Sharif's health condition, son Jawad Umer had said his father is still under treatment at a private hospital in Karachi.

Jawad stated that the doctors are taking good care of his father's health.