Indians gather as former premier Vajpayee is cremated

Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Former Indian prime minister dies after illness aged 93

Pakistan condoles death of ex-Indian PM Vajpayee

A coffin decorated with flowers and wrapped in an Indian flag carries the body of late former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his funeral procession in New Delhi on August 17, 2018.

Reacting to the sad development which has shocked the country, Sudheendra Kulkarni, Ex-aide to former PM, said he worked with Kulkarni for 6 years, he treated everyone with respect, he further said that Vajpayee had asserted that the Kashmir dispute cannot be solved constitutionally, and only by the boundaries of humanity.

PTI Chairman and prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan on Thursday expressed condolences over the demise of the leader, saying his efforts for India-Pakistan peace will always be remembered.

"Leader who was respected deeply for his humility!" Chief ministers, including Yogi Adityanath, Nitish Kumar, Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Vijay Rupani also attended the funeral. The government conferred the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, on him in 2015.

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In his death too, the charismatic Atal Bihari Vajpayee managed to bring political opponents together.

Sial, who is from Pakistan and assumed office as SAARC secretary general in March 2017, recalled Vajpayee's statements at the 10th SAARC Summit in Colombo in 1998, in Kathmandu in 2002 and in Islamabad in 2004 and said: "His vision for a self-reliant and fully integrated South Asia continues to guide the Saarc process even today".

A poet-politician, Vajpayee was one of the most popular leaders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

"He was a charismatic politician who took pride in India and took everyone along".

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Ms. Hasina described Mr. Vajpayee as one of the "most famous sons of India", said, "Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was our great friend and highly respected in Bangladesh".

Sitharaman, President Ram Nath Kovind and Modi were among those who paid homage to Vajpayee. "Deepest condolences conveyed by our friends from Nepal on the loss of a visionary leader!"

"He (Atal) had a major contribution to the state, so the government has made a decision to give opportunity to people in every district to be part of his last journey".

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