Four-member Pakistan delegation to attend last rites of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

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Four-member Pakistan delegation to attend last rites of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

A four-member delegation from Pakistan will be attending the last rites of former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away on Thursday.

 

According to sources, caretaker law and information minister Ali Zafar will represent Pakistan at the former PM’s funeral.

 

Ali Zafar will be accompanied by Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal and a senior official from the law ministry.

 

The delegation will return to Pakistan tonight after attending Vajpayee’s last rites.

 

Vajpayee, 93, had battled poor health for years but his condition had deteriorated sharply in recent days, with doctors placing him on life support.

 

He was being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, where he was admitted nine weeks ago.

The former Indian premier, who was born in 1924 in Gwalior, was among the founding members of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

 

He first became PM of India for only 16 days — May 16-31, 1996, and was re-elected PM in March 1998, where he remained in office until May 13, 2004.

 

Vajpayee withdrew from the public eye after the BJP-led alliance suffered a shock election defeat in 2004.

 

He had since rarely been seen or heard in public. It was widely reported that he had suffered a stroke in 2009, which had largely confined him to his New Delhi residence.

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