Former Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee passes away

Larry Hoffman
August 17, 2018

Referring to Vajpayee as a "great statesman", ambassador of Russian Federation to India, Nikolay Kudashev, said Vajpayee was an integral part of Indian politics and was a respected personality in India as well as globally. For Jammu and Kashmir, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said -insaniyat (humanity), Kashmiriyat (eclectic Kashmiri culture), jamhooriyat (democracy). "His attempts for the betterment of India-Pakistan relationship will always be remembered".

Vajpayee boosted trade with the United States, and he helped organize a 2000 visit to Delhi by President Bill Clinton, the first American president to visit India since Jimmy Carter did so in 1978. He will attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "The upswing in India-Japan relations was only possible by the initiatives started by Prime Minister Vajpayee", Japanese ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu said.

"We pray for the eternal peace of his soul", said Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Sinha said that Vajpayee was "deeply hurt" "by Kargil, by Pakistani Army", and "was inclined to accept the fact that Sharif was taken for a ride by the Pakistani Army".

Foreign Affairs Ministry of Nepal released a statement with the message of condolence from its Prime Minister K.P. Oli on the behalf of the government and people of Nepal.

He said Indians will reflect on Vajpayee's many contributions that led to India's rise as a global and economic power.

Former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a Hindu nationalist who set off a nuclear arms race with rival Pakistan but later reached across the border to begin a groundbreaking peace process, has died after a long illness.

Former Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa also condoled the death of Vajpayee.

His death was announced by a New Delhi hospital, where he had been treated for a kidney infection for the past nine weeks, and by the current prime minister, Narendra Modi, who called him "a great son of mother India" and a "leader with no enemies".

Notably, Vajpayee breathed his last while undergoing treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

"The government and people of Pakistan extend their heartfelt condolences to his family and to the government and people of India", it added.

He was a key figure in the development of India's nuclear programme, ordering weapons tests in 1998, which stoked fears of an atomic war with neighouring Pakistan, which also tested a nuclear device in response.

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