King Of Bhutan Pays Last Respects To India’s Former Prime Minister Vajpayee
His Majesty was among other ministers from South Asian neighbours who paid tribute to the late Vajpayee.
By Kinley Yangden | Bhutan Times
His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was among the many foreign dignitaries to pay their last respects on Friday to former prime minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Vajpayee died at the age of 93 after a prolonged illness. He was accorded a state funeral, which was witnessed by thousands in New Delhi and led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
His Majesty was accompanied by other ministers from South Asian neighbours, including Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Sri Lanka's Acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Nepal's Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, Pakistan's acting information minister Syed Zafar Ali and a senior minister from Afghanistan.
In an Instagram post, His Majesty wrote that Vajpayee is "fondly remembered in Bhutan for his tremendous goodwill towards the people and the leadership of Bhutan".
"He provided unstinted support to the realisation of Bhutan's national objectives and contributed immensely to strengthening Indo-Bhutan relations and cooperation," wrote His Majesty.
17 August 2018: His Majesty The King attended the funeral of the former Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in New Delhi. Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee who passed away on the 16th of August was accorded a State Funeral. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Bhutan as the Foreign Minister of India in 1977. He is fondly remembered in Bhutan for his tremendous goodwill towards the people and the leadership of Bhutan. He provided unstinted support to the realization of Bhutan’s national objectives and contributed immensely to strengthening Indo-Bhutan relations and cooperation. He referred to Indo-Bhutan relations as an “‘example of effective South-South cooperation, and a model worthy of emulation”. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a visionary leader and statesman, an inspirational poet, and a good human being. He devoted his life to the service of his nation and contributed to regional and international cooperation and understanding. He was not only loved by the people of India, but enjoyed the respect of the international community. The Royal Government and people of Bhutan stand in solidarity with the people of India at this hour of grief.
Thousands paid respects at procession
Thousands lined the streets during the procession, which spanned across 7km, for a glimpse of Vajpayee's cortege as it made its way from the BJP headquarters to the cremation ground, where he was cremated with full military honours at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal.
Many chanted slogans and sprinkled rose petals on the carriage.
"There is a void in the politics of South Asia after his death. There can be political differences but the desire of peace remains present across the border. We stand with India in this difficult time," Pakistan prime minister-elect Imran Khan said.