Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee has passed away, a tweet by the former president’s son Abhijit Mukherjee informed on Monday. He had undergone surgery for brain clot on August 10. The 84-year-old, who had also tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the surgery, had tweeted that he had tested positive for coronavirus and urged people, who had come in contact with him in the last week, to isolate themselves and get tested for the virus.
About Pranab Mukherjee
A Congress stalwart before he was elected as India’s 13th President, Mukherjee served from July 2012 to 2017 in the top post. A powerful orator and scholar, he made several revelations in ‘The Coalition Years: 1996-2012’.
The 26/11 terror strike on Mumbai
At least 162 people were killed and more than 300 injured in the four-day siege of India’s financial capital by a group of terrorists from Pakistan-based outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba. One of the militants, Ajmal Kasab, was captured alive and hanged on November 21, 2012.
In his political autobiography, ‘The Coalition Years: 1996-2012,’ former President Pranab Mukherjee revealed that the first call from a foreign country came from then US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, who was concerned about the fallout.
Here’s the excerpt from Pranab Mukherjee’s autobiographical account of the coalition era:
26/11: Tough words with Condoleezza Rice
After the [26/11] incident, the first call was from Condoleezza Rice. She was concerned about the fallout. I told her, ‘The situation is grave. I do not believe in romanticising relations or indulging in any sort of adventurism, but there is a limit to one’s patience. We are truly concerned.’
I also insisted that the US exert pressure on Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism. I took a strong exception to the sale of sophisticated arms and equipment to Pakistan by the US.
I refused to buy their argument that these weapons were supplied to Pakistan for limiting the threats from terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and Taliban, and pointed out that they were actually being used against India.