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Pakistan remembers Vajpayee: ‘A friend from across the border’

Pakistani journalists and politicians on Thursday condoled the death of former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and acknowledged his efforts for peace between the two countries.




ISLAMABAD, Pakistan/NEW DELHI, India: Pakistan mourns the death of India’s greatest statesman Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The passing away of former Indian prime minister has saddened the people on both sides of the Pakistan-India border.Pakistani journalists and politicians sent condolences and acknowledged his efforts for peace between the two countries.

Imran Khan, the prime minister-in-waiting, expressed “immense sadness at the loss of such a towering political figure from the subcontinent” and said that “he shares India’s sorrow in their hour of grief”.

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The PTI chairman recognised the deceased’s conciliatory efforts, adding: “A big gap has been left in South Asian politics with Vajpayee’s death.”

Journalist-turned-politician, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed termed it “an irreparable loss” and said that “he was [an] icon of peace who had a Nixonian vision to reach out for building bridges with Pakistan; honoured to serve as a minister-in-waiting during his famous bus journey to Lahore in 1999”.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed lauded the leader as a man of vision who believed in actions rather than words only. He wrote, “While other Indian leaders have talked of peace, but only PM Vajpayee had the vision, will & moral courage to ‘walk the talk’; he realised post 1998 Nuclear tests that Pakistan & India needed a fresh start based on new ground realities, incl paying homage at the Minar-e-Pakistan.”

Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar regarded Vajpayee as the advocate of Indo-Pak peace as she remembers time when he visited Pakistan with a message of harmony and brother hood. She wrote, “Rest in peace, Atal Bihari Vajpayee saheb. The Indian prime minister who travelled to Lahore in the Sada-e-Sarhad bus with a message of dosti, who wished India & Pakistan to move beyond the bloodied history, and be friends. Dua & condolences for the family. Condolences to India.”

Shehla Rashid, Former Vice-President, JNU Students’ tweeted on how Vajpayee is the favorite among  Kashmiris , especially, for the kind of ideology he always followed whilst language of humanity that he spoke. She wrote, “Ask any Kashmiri which Prime Minister they liked best and the reply will invariably be #AtalBihariVajpayee He reminded Modi that he should have upheld “Raj Dharam” – over Gujarat riots. He attempted to resolve the Kashmir issue. He spoke a language of humanity. RIP Atal Ji!”

BBC journalist Shafi Naqi Jamie acknowledged Vajpayee’s efforts towards peace and tweeted: “He served three terms as PM and will be remembered for moves towards economic reform and his determination to pursue a peace process with neighbouring Pakistan.”

Well-known broadcast journalist Amir Mateen tweeted: “Atal Behari Vajpayee: death of a statesman. He was definitely one of the most towering PMs. And he definitely made an effort for India-Pakistan peace but we failed him. RIP”

PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry tweeted: “a legend has departed, his politics was controversial but his desire for peace was unifying”.


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