India’s neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka are sending their special representatives to attend the funeral of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away yesterday at the age of 93 after a prolonged illness. Vajpayee, who was the country’s 10th Prime Minister, will be laid to rest at the Smriti Sthal on Friday afternoon.
According to Dunya News, Pakistan is planning to send its envoy to attend Vajpayee’s funeral procession. Pakistan’s acting Law and Information Minister Ali Zafar is likely to attend the last rites of former Indian prime minister. Sri Lanka’s Department of Government Information confirmed that the country’s acting foreign affairs minister Lakshman Kiriella would grace his presence at the funeral service of 93-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart, as the special envoy of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
According to The Himalayan Times, Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s Press Advisor Kundan Aryal said that the country’s foreign minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali would leave for New Delhi today to attend late Vajpayee’s last rites, representing the Government of Nepal.
In a statement, Bangladesh’s foreign ministry also announced that AH Mahmood Ali would be visiting New Delhi to be present at Vajpayee’s funeral, bdnews24.com reported.
The 93-year-old BJP veteran breathed his last at 5:05 pm on Thursday at All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in New Delhi. Vajpayee was admitted to AIIMS on June 11 with complications arising out of Urinary Tract Infection, low urine output, and chest congestion. He was on life support since Wednesday morning after his condition deteriorated.
Vajpayee, who led the National Democratic Alliance government from 1998 to 2004, was the first-ever member of the BJP to become India’s Prime Minister. The Central and all state governments have declared a seven-day holiday.