A young Melbourne student’s bid to see his family one last time before he dies is being stopped by the federal government, which has refused to grant his Pakistani mother and brother a visa.
Hassan Asif, 24, came to Australia to study architecture last year but in April was diagnosed with advanced skin cancer, which he received treatment for until July, the Herald Sun reports.
In October his oncologist wrote a letter to support Mr Asif’s family coming to Melbourne, saying he was no longer receiving treatment and would soon enter the “terminal phase”.
But despite his pleas, the Australian High Commission in Islamabad has refused to grant visas to Mr Asif’s mother and brother, saying it is not satisfied the pair will return to Pakistan even though Mr Asif’s father and a second brother will not be travelling to Australia.
Australian officials also expressed concern the family did not have enough money to make the three-month trip and there was not enough of an economic incentive for them to return to Pakistan.
As Mr Asif nears the end of his battle he has no fear of death but just wants to see his mother one last time.
“They are my family, I want them to be with me in those last days,” he said.
“I’m missing my mum very much, I just want her here, she is crying all the time.”
Mr Hassan become so sick that he was unable to work and therefore pay his rent, which let to him living in a squat unless Homelessness and Justice intervened, according to its director Sherri Bruinhout.
Rameez Asif said the family are suffering greatly because of his brother’s illness and their bureaucratic predicament.
“No one could understand what we are going through because he is the youngest in the family and to see him in this condition is just unexplainable,” he said.
He added that he and his mother have no intention of remaining in Australia if they are granted a visa.
“We have our home, family and relatives here in Pakistan and the only reason why we want to enter Australia is to be with Hassan again,” he said.
Should the government changes it position Melbourne City Mission has offered to cover the family’s airfares and are going through Mr Asif’s bucket list.
They hope he will be able to attend a Twenty20 cricket game.
Source : 9news AU