Islamabad: Former Pakistan hockey player Mansoor Ahmed has appealed to the Indian government to grant him a visa so he can travel to the country for a heart transplant.
Ahmed, 49, who is considered a hockey legend in Pakistan, is reportedly suffering from complications due to a pacemaker in his heart. “Today I need a heart and I need the support of the Indian government,” he said in a video posted on YouTube on Monday. He was a goalkeeper in Pakistan’s national team and represented his country in more than 300 international matches.
I visited Olympian & our Hockey legend, Mansoor Khan & assured of my full support for our national hero. I am so happy that he is getting better day by day and wish for his complete & speedy recovery. @SAFoundationN will fully take care our sporting legend. #SAFcares #HopeNotOut pic.twitter.com/008KuUwi3v
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) April 14, 2018
Pakistanis can apply for medical visas to India despite the strained relationship between the two countries. “When I played hockey as a young man, I broke many Indian hearts,” Ahmed told the news channel Sports Tak, which published the video on YouTube. He then directly appealed to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, asking her to grant him a visa as early as possible.
Ahmed won a bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics and was part of the team that won the hockey World Cup in 1994 in Sydney. He added that he would like to return to India, where he had played and won many matches, and that he looked forward to meeting former India hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay, who he competed against.