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DG ISPR, UK HC to help dying Pakistani in Birmingham

National

January 28, 2019

LONDON/BIRMINGHAM: Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor and Britain’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew have assured to help terminally-ill heart patient Pakistani who is getting treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and has only a few days to live.

Geo News interviewed Nasarullah Khan at the Birmingham hospital and his story was published in The News in which he explained his tragedy and appealed to the British high commissioner as well as the DG ISPR to help his wife and two sons obtain visit visas so they could visit him at the hospital.

Replying to a tweet by this correspondent, Thomas Drew assured of his help and, while seeking details of the case, said: “I will see how we can help.” After a public message for help was sent out by Nasarullah Khan to the DG ISPR, the spokesman for the Pakistan Army assured of full support. He said: “Our prayers are with Nasarullah Khan and his family. We will get any support or facilitation from Pakistan Army as Pakistani citizens.”

Details of the visa applicants have been now passed to the British high commissioner. The applicants include Nasarullah Khan’s wife Sania Butt, sons Muhammad Abdullah, 11, and Muhammad Saifullah, 09. Nasarullah Khan has not seen his children in nine years after he came to the UK as he overstayed his visa and has been unable to regularise his status. Pakistan’s new High Commissioner to UK Nafees Zakaria told this correspondent that he has directed his staff to get in touch with the family of Nasarullah Khan and will do his best to assist the family in Pakistan as well as in the UK. Nafees Zakaria said the situation of Nasarullah Khan needed humanitarian intervention. He said that while there were issues with the visa status of the patient, the local doctors have shown great support for the patient. Nasarullah Khan had said: “I have no hope left but in the dying moments my wish is to see my sons, aged 11 and 9. It’s been two weeks that my family applied for visa but the British High Commission has not issued the visa. Thomas Drew can take a look at my case and help issue visa 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. It’s for humanity.”\

Nasarullah Khan has just a short time to live, due to end-stage heart failure and he’s suffering from acute organ failure. 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’s a foreigner who is not entitled to free treatment. Nasarullah Khan has spent even last penny on his treatment and he has no money to pay the hospital bill. He was refused a lifesaving transplant just before Christmas because of his immigration status. He has lived in the United Kingdom for nine years but he entered in the country on a 6 months’ 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. His younger brother Faisal Hanif is a British national and he lives in Birmingham and currently taking care of him in the hospital. Nasarullah Khan’s condition is so weak and he’s so seriously ill that doctors have told him he will be endangering his life if he travelled. He cannot travel to Pakistan but the problem for him is further compounded that his wife and two sons are unable to visit him in the hospital because they don’t have a UK visa. Faisal Hanif told these correspondents that his brother’s wife and children applied for visas through “fast track” application but the High Commission has not responded yet and there’s urgency.