In reply to a question on the issue, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was getting a lot of messages and requests on social media from patients in Pakistan for medical visas.“We have not stopped medical visas for Pakistanis” Baglay said.

“In last years, thousands of medical visas have been issued to Pakistani citizens. What has happened is the External Affairs Minister herself was receiving these requests addressed to her,” Baglay said. Sushma Swaraj is active on social media in addressing problems faces by Indians abroad.

“She was receiving lots of requests on email and social media. In order to understand that these are genuine requests we have suggested that their Foreign Minister or Foreign Affairs Advisor gives a recommendation letter,” he said.

 “On social media it is difficult to understand if the request is genuine or not. If the letter comes, we will immediately issue the visa, but we need recommendation from the Pakistan government,” the spokesperson said.

On Saturday, Pakistani media reported that thousands of Pakistanis seeking treatment for liver and heart-related sickness at major hospitals in New Delhi, Chennai and other Indian cities have been affected due to non-issuance of medical visas.

“India has made it impossible for Pakistanis to get medical visas,” an official was quoted as saying by Geo News.

It said that Pakistan summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale and expressed worry over the issue.

However, there was no official confirmation of the meeting by India.