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18.08.2018

If Prime Minister Modi did indeed mean some of the things he said in praise of the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, one of better loved Prime Ministers of India, after his demise on Wednesday there shouldn’t be much of a problem for him to work out ways fulfillng some of the tasks which Vajpayee himself had tried hard to address. And in the end without much success. Issues which have stared the nation in the eye . Governments of different hues have come and gone but the problems bequeathed to us by history, look back ever so defiantly, daring the powers that be. Vajpayee to his credit did accept the challenge on one front, choosing to meet it head on: his country’s relations with neighboring Pakistan. “You can choose your friends but not your neighbors,” that’s the home truth that was his stock-in-hand as he started luring neighbor Pakistan.Vajpayee took the initiative as soon as he saw himself in a position to influence Indo-Pak relations as Morarji Desai’s first post-Indira Janata Government and soon thereafter when Vajpayee himself became the Prime Minister and later and chose to play a high stakes open–sesame, first with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and subsequently with Gen. Pervez Musharraf who by then had sent Sharif into exile to Saudi Arabia and installed himself as the military dictator. Vajpayee had opted to move with unaccustomed sincerity, to address some of the problems that had turned India and Pakistan into eternal foes after the dawn of independence in the sub-continent. I did join his party to Pakistan when FM Vajpayee went there in search of normalization; he did visit the Iqbal and Ranjit Singh Mausoleum in........

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