India

Pakistan hockey player seeks heart transplant in India

Mansoor Ahmed lying on his hospital bed in Karachi. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mansoor Ahmed

A former Pakistan hockey player has appealed to the Indian government to grant him a visa so he can travel to the country for a heart transplant.

Mansoor Ahmed, 49, is reportedly suffering from complications due to a pacemaker in his heart.

In a video posted on YouTube Ahmed said, "Today I need a heart and I need the support of the Indian government".

Pakistanis can apply for medical visas to India despite the strained relationship between the two countries.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars and a limited conflict since the two states were created in 1947 following independence from Britain.

"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 India's foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, asking her to grant him a visa as soon as possible.

Ahmed is considered a hockey legend in Pakistan. He was a goalkeeper in the national team and represented his country in more than 300 international matches.

He won a bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics and was part of the team that won the hockey world cup in 1994 in Sydney.

Ahmed 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.

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