Legendary Pakistani Ghazal singer Mehdi Hassan, who has been long suffering from ill health, has got a visa to come to India for medical treatment.
The 84-year-old singer was admitted to Aga Khan hospital in Karachi three months ago with a serious lung infection. Doctors said his condition is stable now.
Efforts were on for a long time to bring the singer to India for treatment. "Yesterday we received the visa to visit India and we can stay in New Delhi and Mumbai for 30 days. The time period may be extended after Hassan saab is admitted to a hospital. Two medical attendants, me, my wife and my son will accompany him. Dr Ajiz Sonawala, who was attending to my father at the Karachi hospital has also been permitted to come with him. We will have to take Hassan saab by an air ambulance as he is not fit to travel by a normal flight," his son Arif told PTI from Karachi.
Hassan, who was born in a village called Luna in Rajasthan, has been assured of full assistance by the state government throughout his India stay.
Some of his popular Ghazals include "Patta Patta Boota Boota" and "Rafta Rafta Wo Meri Hasti Ka". Arif hoped the process for his father's treatment would be expedited, adding that Delhi's Fortis hospital had also contacted them.
"Fortis hospital has contacted us and assured that they will assist us completely with the treatment. Even we feel that it would be better if we admit my father there. We have submitted the petition from Fortis and his medical report to Indian High Commission in Islamabad," he said.
Arif said that once all the formalities are complete, Sonawala will get in touch with the Indian doctors and decide the course of treatment.
Asked about the singer's current health status, Arif said, "Right now his condition is stable. Three months ago he was in a very serious condition and there were even rumours about his death. We are waiting for him to recover so that he is in a condition to be taken to India."
Hassan last visited India in 2005 to undergo ayurvedic treatment in Delhi. Arif said that singers Hariharan, Sonu Nigam, Daler Mehndi are in touch with the ailing singer.
He added that his father wants to visit Mumbai to meet Lata Mangeshkar. In October 2010, "Tera Milna", the first duet of Mehdi Hassan and Lata Mangeshkar, was released.
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