Friday, 26 April, 2019

Former Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee dies

Former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Aug. 1 2001 Vajpayee's condition worsens, put on life-support system: AIIMS..
Leonard Rios | 17 August, 2018, 20:15

Former Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who ordered nuclear tests to make India a nuclear weapons power and travelled by bus to Pakistan in a grand diplomatic gesture, died on Thursday, the hospital where he was being treated said in a statement. Kidney tract infection, chest congestion and urine output being on the lower side are the medical complaints.

The key question for mediapersons that day was whether Mr. Vajpayee was ready for another fight in 2009 or would his deteriorating health ensure his retirement from active politics and see the rise of L. K. Advani as the party's unchallenged leader.

However, he was later involved in a groundbreaking peace process with Islamabad.

Pakistan on Thursday extended their condolences at the sad demise of the three-time former prime minister of India and said the government and people of Pakistan extend their heartfelt condolences to his family and to the government and people of India.

Together with President Bill Clinton's visit to India earlier that year in March, it ended the chill that had set in after Vajpayee's decision to conduct nuclear tests two years earlier in 1998, which had angered the U.S. and other western powers and had resulted in sanctions that are still unravelling.

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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. He went on to launch another phrase that would come to be used widely for describing the India-US relationship during his tenure - "the defining partnership of the 21st century".

"Madam, I was hurt very much", the then-prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, told a reporter in June 1998. "Despite best efforts, we lost him today", the AIIMS said in a statement.

Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee speaks during a news conference in the eastern Indian university town of Shantiniketan, northwest of Calcutta April 2, 2004. The government conferred the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, on him in 2015. Vajpayee's body was moved late Thursday from a hospital to his Delhi home, where mourners gathered. His funeral is to be held Friday afternoon.

"As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, it has been decided that seven days of State mourning will be observed throughout India from 16 to 22 August, both days inclusive".

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