Bhutan King, British HC pay homage to Vajpayee

New Delhi, Aug 17 : Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith on Friday paid their homage to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the BJP office here.

The Bhutanese King visited the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters and placed a wreath on the body of Vajpayee, which was lying in state for people to pay their last respects.

Asquith and several other diplomats also paid homage to the former Prime Minister, whose flair for foreign policy and initiatives were acknowledged globally.

“He (Vajpayee) 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,” Asquith said.

Nepal’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Sri Lanka’s Acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali will attend the funeral. Several other foreign leaders will also be present.

Vajpayee was a founder member of the BJP and the first non-Congress Prime Minister to complete a full term in office.

He was treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for nine weeks before he passed away on Thursday.

A four-member delegation from Pakistan will be attending the last rites of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday, the media reported.

Caretaker Law and Information Minister Ali Zafar, Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal and other senior officials from the Law Ministry will represent Pakistan at Vajpayee’s funeral, Geo News reported citing sources.

The delegation will return the same day after attending the funeral, it said.

Vajpayee, 93, had battled poor health for years, and died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Thursday.

His last rites will be performed at 4 p.m. at Smriti Sthal.

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