Often Vajpayee's out of the box thinking surprised even the Pakistani establishment

Political parties across the spectrum in Jammu and Kashmir paid glowing tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, remembering him as a visionary leader who tried several steps to resolve the Kashmir issue.

In J&K, Vajpayee is remembered for proposing 'Insaniyat, Jhamooriyat and Kashmiriyat' to resolve the Kashmir issue. During his tenure, Vajpayee visited Kashmir in April 2003, despite protests from the local BJP leadership and promised to strengthen the dialogue process. He also reiterated his commitment of good relationship with Pakistan, despite the failure of the Agra summit.

J&K governor N N Vohra, who is currently running the state, described Vajpayee as an astute and visionary leader whose thinking was deeply infused with humanism.

"I had the privilege to work with Vajpayeeji for some time. His continuing endeavour to evolve an amicable resolution of issues relating to Kashmir will be remembered for ever," Vohra said in a statement.

Former J&K chief minister and People's Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said Vajpayee was a crusader of peace who understood Kashmir and initiated several confidence-building measures. "He showed courage and conviction in healing Kashmir, through his re-conciliatory initiatives. His death is a loss to the politics of the whole sub-continent," she said.

Another former J&K chief minister and National Conference leader, Omar Abdullah referred to his death as a personal loss. In a string of tweets he said,"…I feel a personal sense of loss at his passing. Thank you sir for the opportunities, for the trust you reposed in me, for the opportunities to travel with you & to learn from you. You will be greatly missed."

Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said Vajpayee had the humaneness to seek resolution of Kashmir dispute in the wide ambit of humanity and not within the confines of a constitution.

"Vajpayee made sincere efforts to walk his talk when he initiated unconditional talks with the Hurriyat Conference. He was also a man of peace who wanted cordial and peaceful relations with Pakistan," said Mirwaiz adding, "He was ready to address all issues including the core issue of Kashmir through dialogue. May his soul rest in peace."

Former J&K deputy chief minister and BJP leader Kavinder Gupta said that Vajpayee visited Kashmir in 1953 along with Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.

"He had a vision for Kashmir. Every side of the political spectrum respected him. Mukherjee had asked him to go back and tell people of the country that they managed to enter J&K without permit. He was a great journalist, poet, politician and statesman," Gupta told reporters.