Kuldip Nayar, the veteran Indian journalist, author and human rights activist, has passed away at the age of 95, reports the Indian Express.
Nayar, who had served as high commissioner of India to the UK, died on Thursday. His last rites are to be performed at 1pm.
Nayar was the author of 15 books including ‘Beyond the Lines’, ‘India after Nehru’ and ‘Emergency Retold’.
The journalist was a vocal opponent of the state of emergency declared by former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. During the Emergency Nayar was jailed for leading a protest against the administration’s excesses.
Current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had praised Nayar for his stance.
“I respect veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar ji, he fought for freedom during the emergency, he may be a harsh critic of us but I salute him for this,” he had said.
Nayar had also served as a member of India’s delegation to the UN in 1996.
He was an advocate for peace between India and Pakistan, leading candle vigils near the Amritsar border on the Independence days of Pakistan and India every year since 2000.
Nayar also worked to free Indian prisoners in Pakistan and Pakistani prisoners in India who completed their sentences but had not been released, according to a 2012 report by Pakistani-based publication The News International.
Nayar had also criticised the Pakistan government for refusing to apologise to Bangladesh for the atrocities its army had committed in the 1971 Liberation War.