UAE Rulers offer condolences on death of former Indian president

India's ex-president APJ Abdul Kalam is no more

The President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a cable of condolences to Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on the death of former president of India APJ Abdul Kalam.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also sent similar cables to the Indian President.

Earlier Story: Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam has died at a hospital after collapsing while delivering a lecture in northeastern India.

The president from 2002 until 2007 was known as the father of the country's military missile program.

B. Warjri, chief secretary of Meghalaya state, said Kalam died Monday evening at a hospital. He was 83.

Kalam fell sick Monday while addressing the students of the Indian Institute of Management in the Meghalaya city of Shillong.

Popularly known as "Missile Man," Kalam led the scientific team that developed missiles able to carry India's nuclear warheads. He became a national folk hero after helping oversee nuclear tests in 1998 that solidified India's status as a nuclear weapons state. India's first atomic test was in 1974.

Kalam died from cardiac arrest in Bethany Hospital in the northeastern city of Shillong, capital of Meghalaya state, according to hospital chief executive officer John L. Sailo.

Kalam, who wrote a book called "Ignited Minds," became best known as a tireless campaigner for unleashing India's technological muscle and discouraging expensive imports from the West.

Born on Oct. 15, 1931 in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Kalam graduated from the prestigious Madras Institute of Technology in aeronautical engineering.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expressed his condolences on Twitter: "We have lost an ideal citizen. May his soul rest in peace."   

 

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