New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday condoled the passing away of Pakistan's former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, saying that "once an implacable foe of India, he became a real force for peace" between 2002 and 2007.
Tharoor's social media post condoling Musharraf's demise evoked a sharp response from the BJP which accused the Congress of "Pakistan parasti (worshipping)".
Musharraf passed away on Sunday in a Dubai hospital, according to media reports.
"'Pervez Musharraf, Former Pakistani President, Dies of Rare Disease': once an implacable foe of India, he became a real force for peace 2002-2007," Tharoor said in a tweet.
"I met him annually in those days at the @un & found him smart, engaging & clear in his strategic thinking. RIP," the former minister of state for external affairs said.
Tagging Tharoor's tweets, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said, "Pervez Musharraf architect of Kargil, dictator, accused of heinous crimes who considered Taliban & Osama as 'brothers' & 'heroes' who refused to even take back bodies of his own dead soldiers is being hailed by Congress! Are you surprised? Again, Congress ki pak parasti!"
"Once upon a time Musharraf had hailed Rahul Gandhi as a gentleman perhaps that endears Congress to Musharraf??" he said.
"From 370 to Surgical Strike to doubting Balakote Congress echoed Pak line & hails Musharraf but called our own chief 'Sadak Ka Gunda'..This is Congress!!" Poonawalla said.
In another tweet, the BJP leader shared an old video of Musharraf talking about his son being invited by Rahul Gandhi and Musharraf's wife, brother and son being invited for a lunch by former prime minister Manmohan Singh when they were on a Delhi visit, during his tenure as the Pakistan president.
"Parvez Musharraf who had hailed Osama Bin Laden & Taliban had sung praises of Rahul Gandhi too - called him a gentleman and pledged his support to him!! Perhaps this is the reason why Shashi Tharoor is eulogising the architect of Kargil & a backer of terrorism!! Sigh," Poonawalla said in his tweet, tagging the video.
Musharraf, 79, was suffering from amyloidosis, a rare disease caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid in organs and tissues throughout the body, The Express Tribune reported.
Musharraf was born on August 11, 1943, in Delhi.
He assumed the post of Chief Executive after imposing martial law in the country in 1999 and served as the president of Pakistan from 2001 to 2008.
In her condolence, former J-K chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said Musharraf was perhaps the only Pakistani general who genuinely tried to address the Kashmir issue.
"Deepest condolences. Perhaps the only Pakistani General who genuinely tried to address the Kashmir issue. He wanted a solution according to wishes of people of J&K & acceptable to India & Pak. Though GOI has reversed all CBMs initiated by him & Vajpayee ji, the ceasefire remains," Mufti tweeted.