Demolition of Babri Masjid: Here’s what Atal Bihari Vajpayee said

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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief and Prime Minister-designate Imran Khan on Thursday paid his tribute to former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, remembering how the latter worked towards strengthening India-Pakistan relation.

Mr Vajpayee, the BJP's tallest leader, was admitted to hospital on June 11 with a kidney tract infection and chest congestion. Khan in a statement said that Vajpayee was a prominent political personality of the sub-continent.

In a statement, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said Vajpayee was a renowned statesman who contributed to bringing a change in India-Pakistan relations in addition to being a noted votary of greater regional cooperation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying his last respects to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the cremation ground in New Delhi on August 17, 2018. "He will be remembered for his huge contribution in bolstering U.S. -India relations".

Seen as a moderate face of BJP, Vajpayee first became prime minister in 1996, leading a shaky coalition whose members were suspicious of the BJP's right-wing politics.

"Heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of India on the passing of #AtalBihariVajpayee. I extend sympathies to the people of India in this hour of grief", he added.

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The PTI chief stated that there could be political differences between the two countries, however, the desire to establish peace existed on both sides of the border. He was on life support since Wednesday morning after his condition deteriorated.

The 93-year-old BJP stalwart breathed his last at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) yesterday in the national capital after struggling with health ailments for nine weeks. "Despite the best of efforts, we have lost him today".

"The demise of such a great leader is a great loss not only to India but also to Japan and other parts of Asia as well as the entire worldwide community".

His waning health sparked a flurry of visits from top dignitaries Thursday, including Modi and senior cabinet ministers.

Vajpayee, a journalist and poet-turned-politician, is credited with helping lay the foundations for the meteoric rise of the far-right BJP which governs India today.

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