ISPR DG, British envoy promise to help terminally-ill Pakistani in UK


LONDON: Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) DG Major General Asif Ghafoor and Britain’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew have promised to help a terminally-ill Pakistani who is getting treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Nasarullah Khan, who suffered from heart failure, explained his tragedy and appealed to the British High Commissioner as well as the ISPR DG to help his wife and two sons obtain visas so that they could visit him in the hospital.

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

After a message was sent out by Nasarullah to the ISPR DG who promised full support. Maj Gen Ghafoor said, “Our prayers are with Nasar Ullah 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 Nasar Ullah Khan’s wife Sania Butt, sons Muhammad Abdullah, 11, and Muhammed Saifullah, 11. Nasar Ullah Khan has not seen his children in 9 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 the UK Nafees Zakaria has directed his staff to get in touch with the family. Zakaria said his team will do their best to assist them, adding that Nasarullah’s condition requires urgent 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.

Nasar Ullah 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.”

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. Nasar Ullah 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 UK for nine years but overstayed with a 6 months’ tourist visa by 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, a British national, lives in Birmingham and currently taking care of him in the hospital. Nasarullah’s condition is very weak and doctors have told him that he will be endangering his life if he travelled back to Pakistan.