He was a rare Indian leader, says Mirwaiz

SRINAGAR: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s death has saddened separatists leaders who had seen in him a “leader with a vision”.

Ishfaq Tantry

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 16

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s death has saddened separatists leaders who had seen in him a “leader with a vision”.

Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said he was sad at Vajpayee’s death. The separatist described him as a “rare Indian leader” who had the “humaneness to seek the resolution” of the “festering” Kashmir issue within the “wide ambit of humanity” and improve relations with Pakistan.

“He made sincere efforts to walk his talk when he initiated unconditional talks with the Hurriyat Conference,” Mirwaiz said, adding Vajpayee was a “man of peace who wanted cordial and peaceful relations with Pakistan”. “May his soul rest in peace,” he said.

Senior Hurriyat leader Prof Abdul Gani Bhat described Vajpayee as a “man with a vision to build a peaceful and prosperous future for the entire South Asian region”.

Reached out to Geelani in his moment of grief 

  • Jammu: In April 2001, a gesture by Atal Bihari Vajpayee had moved top separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Vajpayee had sent Geelani a personal letter condoling the death of his daughter Suraya Jabeen in Jammu
  • Geelani had shared the contents of the letter with  his relatives and colleagues and  appreciated Vajpayee’s  gesture
  • There were many sceptics who had questioned why a PM should have written a  letter to a “die-hard  anti-India leader” in Kashmir. But then, he was Vajpayee

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