World leaders pay tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee

His Majesty attends state funeral of Late Vajpayee

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.

Several foreign dignitaries including King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Sri Lanka acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella and Pakistan Law Minister Ali Zafar paid their last respects at Smriti Sthal. In his condolence message, US secretary of state Michael R. Pompeo said the Indo-US bilateral relationship "continue to benefit from Prime Minister Vajpayee's vision, which helped promote expanded cooperation". "Those who remember his state visit to the United Kingdom in 2001 will know how well respected he was here", said a Twitter post by Mark Fields, British Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific.

"A Bharat Ratna who was also conferred with the Bangladesh Liberation War Honour!"

Vajpayee served as prime minister three times between 1996 and 2004 and was instrumental in making India a global nuclear power.

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

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"Sub-continent has lost a phenomenal and a visionary political figure today", the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman said in a statement. "I extend sympathies to the people of India in this hour of grief", he added. India and Israel also set up a joint anti-terror commission after a visit by foreign minister Jaswant Singh in the same year.

It was during Vajpayee's term as prime minister that India's ties with Israel became more public after the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1992.

"EAM @SushmaSwaraj met with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali and leaders recalled contribution of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in consolidating friendship", he tweeted.

"We join the nation in deeply mourning this great loss".

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