Pakistan condoles death of ex-Indian PM Vajpayee

17 August, 2018, 20:15 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Aug. 1 2001

Thousands of Indians gathered Friday as the funeral pyre was lit for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a Hindu nationalist who was respected across the political spectrum. He was being treated for a kidney tract infection, urinary tract infection, low urine output and chest congestion.

He retired from politics in 2005 and suffered a stroke in 2009.

In May 1998, with barely two months in office as prime minister, Vajpayee presided over the Pokhran-II nuclear tests, in which India detonated nuclear bombs in the Rajasthani desert.

His peace efforts began with a groundbreaking bus ride to Lahore, Pakistan, in February 1999, where he met with then-Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

He served three times as India's prime minister; for 13 days in 1996, for 11 months from 1998 to 1999, and then from 1998 to 2004.

Vajpayee's supporters saw him as a skilled politician who managed to avoid fanaticism, a man who refused to see the world in black and white.

While India's nuclear weapons program is believed to date to the 1980s, New Delhi had long insisted its atomic program was purely for peaceful purposes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and BJP president Amit Shah walk together for former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee's funeral procession.

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Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was there at the AIIMS for about 50 minutes.

India and the United States would go on to sign a landmark civil nuclear deal in 2008 under the watch of a different Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, in an initiative that President Bush had pushed relentlessly, according to several former USA officials.

"Madam, I was hurt very much", the then-prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, told a reporter in June 1998. "He will be remembered for his huge contribution in bolstering US-India relations".

"With the passing away of Atal Ji, India has lost an "Anmol Ratna", says PM Modi.

Vajpayee's public response to the riots reflected his many contradictions.

Besides, there will be no any celebration at any government establishments of the state for the next seven days.

Vajpayee's body it to be taken to his New Delhi home and then to the BJP's office on Friday for people to pay their last respects.

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