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World pays tribute to India’s former foreign minister Sushma Swaraj

Her demise has shaken India and the world alike. Tributes are pouring in from across the world as news spread of her sudden death.

Shalini Pathak | New Delhi |

After the sudden demise of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday, the world mourned her death by expressing their condolences on social media.

Former President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai took to his official Twitter handle to express grief. “Deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Behinji Sushma Swaraj,” he wrote.

In a series of tweets, French Ambassador to India, Alexandre Ziegler, expressed his sadness on Tuesday night, in which he called Sushma Swaraj “one of India’s most respected leaders “who”showed remarkable dedication to serving her fellow citizens.”

The tweet by Ziegler said, “My heartfelt condolences to the family & loved ones of former EAM of India, Smt. Sushma Swaraj ji. One of India’s most respected leaders, she showed remarkable dedication to serving her fellow citizens & took the Indo-French relationship to new heights.”

Her demise has shaken India and the world alike. Tributes are pouring in from across the world as news spread of her sudden death.

Maldives External Affairs Minister, Abdulla Shahid also condoled senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj’s passing away. He wrote on Twitter, “Stateswoman extraordinaire, diplomat par excellence”.

Salahuddin Rabbani, Afghanistan Foreign Affairs Minister shared, I’m saddened to hear of the untimely demise of Sushma Swaraj”.

Nepal’s Prime minister, KP Sharma Oli, who had several meetings with Sushma Swaraj during her tenure as the External Affairs Minister shared, “Deeply shocked to learn of the passing away of #SushmaSwaraj, a senior political leader of India& former External Affairs Minister. Heartfelt condolences& deepest sympathies to the Govt& people of India as well as to the bereaved family members.

Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong offered his heartfelt message to India. He said, “Sad to learn about the passing away of SushmaSwaraj.”

Earlier today, UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa condoled Swaraj’s death by calling her “an extraordinary woman and leader”.

She further tweeted, “I had the honor of meeting her in my visits to #India, & will always remember her fondly. My deepest condolences to all of her loved ones”

Global icon and humanitarian, The Dalai Lama, spoke of the veteran leader’s “compassionate concern for people”.

“I offer my prayers & my condolences at this difficult time. Sushma Swaraj enjoyed immense respect for her compassionate concern for people & her friendly demeanour. In devoting herself to service of others, she led a very meaningful life,” he further added.

The official social media handle of US Embassy in Delhi tweeted: “#SushmaSwaraj was a steadfast advocate for her compatriots. As External Affairs Minister, she was a key partner in strengthening US-India bilateral relationship, most prominently during the inaugural 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in September 2018.”

Pakistan’s Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Hussain stated that he will miss his social media melee with her. “She was a giant in her own right,” the Pakistani minister wrote.

Fawad Hussain and Sushma Swaraj had a Twitter spat in March 2019 over Hindu girls who were allegedly abducted in Pakistan.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also mourns Swaraj’s death, saying Sushma Swaraj was a good friend of Bangladesh.

“In her death, we’ve lost a true friend,” Bangladesh PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted the premier as saying.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh will always remember her contributions to taking the bilateral relationship to a new height.

The prime minister prayed for the salvation of the departed soul and conveyed profound sympathy to the bereaved family.

Sushma Swaraj was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in a critical condition On Tuesday evening. She was brought to AIIMS by her family and was straightaway taken to the emergency ward, soon after which, she died.

Swaraj had put out a tweet in the evening congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Centre’s bold move to revoke special status for Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the border state into two Union Territories secured Parliament’s approval.

She was succeeded by former foreign secretary S Jaishankar as the new External Affairs Minister in the second term of Modi government.