News Desk |
On a new front, the Foreign Office has said that Pakistan will not relinquish its’ claim to Jinnah house in Mumbai, the mansion of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Earlier, Indian Minister for External Affairs, Shusma Swaraj had announced that on the directive of Prime Minister House, Jinnah House would be refurbished on the lines of Hyderabad House in Delhi. She said that the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) would soon transfer ownership of the house to her ministry.
The FO spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal while talking to the media said, “We have a longstanding claim on the Jinnah House, which was accepted by India at the highest level. We have documentary evidence to that extent. India has to honor its commitment.”
In 2007, Ms. Wadia then approached the high court in India, claiming that being the sole legal heir of Mr. Jinnah; she should get the possession of the property.
Interestingly, Indian media– while gatekeeping– is playing its wicked part and is omitting the vital truths of the whole story. The Hindu while reporting half-truth deliberately hid the fact that Jinnah House was actually owned by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and instead wrote, “Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah lived there in the late 1930s. “
The mansion built in 1936 by Jinnah, had costed Rs200, 000 and was occupied by Jinnah until partition, after which he moved to Karachi. After the partition, the properties left behind in both Pakistan and India by refugees were taken over by the Evacuee Trust in both countries. Jawaharlal Nehru as a goodwill gesture had allowed 2.5 acres of Jinnah House to remain in the name of Mr. Jinnah instead of declaring it as evacuee property.
Pakistan has since 1979 been requesting India to sell or at least lease the Jinnah Mansion to its government to convert it into the consulate. Although in 1980, the then foreign minister of India Narasimha Rao agreed to lease the Jinnah house as the residence of local Consulate General of Pakistan, the plan was never implemented in principle.
Read more: Jinnah’s Pakistan: An inclusive one
After that in 2004 again, the then president of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf had suggested to the then Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee to turn the house into Pakistan’s consulate. But talks between the foreign ministers of the two countries over the land did not gain any guarantees from India.
In May 2005, Mr. Jinnah’s only daughter, Dina Wadia, in a letter to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had requested the Indian government for the possession to the house.
According to media reports, a former attorney general’s findings had revealed that Mr. Jinnah’s legal descendant still had first rights to the property. In 2007, Ms. Wadia then approached the high court in India, claiming that being the sole legal heir of Mr. Jinnah; she should get the possession of the property.
After her death in November 2017, Nusli Neville Wadia her son replaced her as a petitioner. Their plea says that since Jinnah was Khoja Shia, Ms. Wadia was the sole legal heir of Jinnah under Hindu Law [applicable to Khoja community]. The case is still being heard at Indian court.