LONDON: A terminally-ill Pakistani father of two died on Thursday afternoon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, two weeks after he was reunited with his family.
Khan, who had left Pakistan for Britain nine years ago, was brought to the hospital before Christmas but was denied life-saving transplant at the time because he didn’t have permission to live in Britain and was so critically ill that doctors told him travelling to Pakistan will be unsafe for him. His brother Fiasal Hanif told this scribe that Khan lost his battle while his family was around.
“It’s a huge tragedy and we are all devastated. The only consolation is that his wife and two sons were able to meet him after nine years of separation. They saw him all wired and on death bed for two weeks but at least they met him. I am thankful to British High Commissioner Thomas Drew and Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for helping us. The British high commissioner provided visa to my brother’s family and DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor took personal interest and facilitated travel arrangements. We are thankful to them and everyone else who helped us,” he said.
Khan was told that he only had a few days to live. Through Geo News, he had appealed to the British High Commission in Islamabad and the DG ISPR to grant visas to his family so he could meet them one last time.
He had said in his appeal: “I have no hope left but it is my last wish is to see my sons, aged 9 and 11. My family applied for their visa two weeks ago but have not yet been issued them by the British High Commission. Thomas Drew can take a look at my case and help issue visas 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.”
Khan suffered from heart and acute organ failure. He had been living in the United Kingdom for nine years but entered the country on a six-month 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 brother said that funeral prayers of Khan will be offered on Friday in Birmingham and the dead body will be flown to Pakistan on the weekend on a PIA flight.
“Nasrullah’s wife and two sons along with other family members will be flying to Pakistan for burial,” he said, adding that the burial will take place in Jhelum.