Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away on Thursday after battling a prolonged illness at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The news of the unfortunate death has spread across the world and foreign leaders have shared their condolences.
Vajpayee, who has served as Indian PM thrice, was appointed the Minister of External Affairs in Prime Minister Morarji Desai’s cabinet back in 1977. As foreign minister, he became the first Foreign Minister of India to speak at the United Nations in Hindi.
As a global leader, he had admirers all over the world including Pakistan and many global leaders and governments of other countries have condoled the death of one of India’s tallest leaders.
The Mauritius government as a sign of respect has decided that both Indian and Mauritian flag will fly half-mast on government buildings today. The government has also requested all the private sector to fly the flag half-mast to share their respect for Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The Mauritius government in its letter has credited Atal Bihari Vajpayee for taking the relationships between the two countries to new heights. The letter said, “Mauritius mourns the loss of a man who stood tall not only for India but also for Mauritius”.
Joining us in our moment of grief! In an unprecedented gesture, the Government of #Mauritius has decided that both Indian and Mauritian flag will fly half-mast on government buildings today as a mark of respect following the sad demise of former PM Vajpayee. pic.twitter.com/qn8ZA38tT2
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) August 17, 2018
Apart from this, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has said while condoling the death of the former Prime Minister. He said, “On behalf of the people of the United States of America, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the people of India on the recent passing of Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee”.
British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith said, “We are saddened by the passing of former PM of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee”. He further said, “We will remember him as one of India’s greatest leaders. Shri Vajpayee was much respected in the UK as a statesman par excellence”.
He was an enormously important person who we have great respect for and it’s a great loss for India. I wanted to pay my respects to a man of that stature: Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India #AtalBihariVajpayee pic.twitter.com/wQYq86y2ZG
— ANI (@ANI) August 17, 2018
The Union Jack also flew at half-mast at the British High Commission in New Delhi as a mark of respect to Vajpayee. The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement condoled death of Vajpayee and hailed his vision which helped promote expanded cooperation.
— ANI (@ANI) August 17, 2018
Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai also flew down to India to pay his last respects to Vajpayee as did the King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. Foreign Ministers of Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka also arrived to pay their respects. Pakistan’s Prime Minister elect Imran Khan also expressed his grief at Vajpayee’s passing.
The head of the states of the SAARC countries too have expressed their grief and mourned for the death of one of the South Asia’s tallest statesman. It is reported that there would be significant representation of leaders from the SAARC countries. Reportedly, President of Russia, Vladimir Putin sent a message of condolences to President of India Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on the passing of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.