SAARC leaders to attend Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s funeral

SAARC summit -wefornews

New Delhi , Aug 17 :As Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India’s tallest leader would be laid to rest on Friday, Leaders particularly from the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) nations will arrive in Delhi to attend the funeral of former Indian Prime Minister who died passed away at 5.05 pm on Thursday, August 16 after a prolonged struggle with illness. He was 93.

Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, Nepal’s Foreign Affairs Min PK Gyawal, Sri Lanka acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Pakistan Minister Ali Zafar will arrive in Delhi today to pay tributes to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

His funeral procession will start from BJP headquarters at 1 pm and the last rites will take place at Smriti Sthal at 4 pm today. Several roads in the national capital will remain closed for the public today due to the funeral procession of the former PM, as per an advisory issued by Delhi Police. A few roads that will remain closed from 8 am today include Krishna Menon Marg, Tughlaq Road, Akbar Road and DDU Marg.

Pakistan’s acting law and information minister Syed Zafar Ali will represent Pakistan to pay his respects to the honourable former Prime Minister of India. He will travel on a special aircraft .

Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali left for New Delhi on Friday to attend the funeral of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who died a day earlier, an official statement confirmed here.

Messages have started pouring in from across the world.

Nepal’s top leadership including Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli have paid their tributes to the
the veteran leader who also made significant contribution in advancing Nepal-India ties during his term in office.

 Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli sent his message of condolence to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that Vajpayee “was a visionary statesman with impeccable integrity and dedication, who will be remembered for his sagacity and exemplary selfless service to the people of India.”

Oli said: “I am deeply shocked to learn that former prime minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee has passed away in New Delhi. On behalf of the government and people of Nepal and my own, I extend respect to late Vajpayee.”

India and the world lost a towering political figure and Nepal, a true friend and well-wisher, Oli said, adding that his contribution to strengthening Nepal-India relations will be remembered forever.

Vajpayee, 93, died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Thursday.

His funeral procession will begin at 1 p.m. and the last rites will be performed at 4 p.m. at Smriti Sthal.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), a contiguous block of countries, started in 1985 with seven countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – and added Afghanistan as an eighth member in 2007.

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