Imran Khan pays tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee

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

Minister for Information and Law Barrister Ali Zafar will lead the Pakistani delegation that will attend the funeral of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who breathed his last in New Delhi, the Foreign Office said Friday. The UP government has put up a list of 75 districts and small and big rivers picked for immersion of the ashes. "People came from all parts of India, from all sections of society pay tributes to an extraordinary personality who made an extraordinary contribution to the nation. India salutes you, Atal Ji!", the Prime Minister later tweeted.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and Anand Sharma, Lok Sabha Deputy Speker M. Thambidurai, former Union Minister A. Raja, MDMK chief Vaiko and TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi were among who witnessed the performance of the last rites.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, where Mr Vajpayee had been hospitalised for more than two months with a kidney infection and chest congestion, announced his death.

Media reports say Foreign Ministers of other neighbouring countries, including Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are also expected to arrive to pay their respects to the late BJP leader.

Following the death of the leader, the BJP's national executive meeting scheduled for August 18 and 19 has been cancelled.


In many ways Vajpayee was a complicated figure, a leader of the moderate wing of India's often-strident Hindu nationalist movement and a lifelong poet who oversaw India's growth into a strutting regional economic power.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck arrived in Delhi to pay tribute to the former PM.

Amid sultry weather, thousands of people walked the 7km route with some showering petals on the carriage. Thousands had gathered on Delhi roads earlier in the day to join Vajpayee's funeral procession.

Vajpayee, who was out of power for almost 16 years and was confined to his home for almost a decade following a long illness, continued to connect with the nation and the people. While security people kept entry highly restricted inside the cremation ground, arguments broke out outside as hundreds were prevented from entering.

Vajpayee suffered a stroke in 2009 and retreated from public view.

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