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Jinnah House, now for Pak corps commander

The Pakistan Army has no qualms about housing a Corps Commander in the residence of the Qaid-e-Azam in Lahore.

india Updated: Feb 01, 2007 16:31 IST

The Pakistan Army has no qualms about housing a Corps Commander in the residence of the Qaid-e-Azam in Lahore while making the possession of Jinnah House in Mumbai into a major diplomatic issue with India.

Handing over of the Jinnah House in Mumbai to convert it into a museum may have been Pakistan's demand for decades but the Pakistan Army has no problem with converting the equally palatial residence of MA Jinnah in Lahore as the residence for its Corps Commander.

While the Jinnah House in Lahore, which the Pakistan founder bought in 1943 from a Hindu, Mohan Lal Bashin well before the Partition, should have been a national heritage it served as the residence of Lahore's Corps Commander, The News said on Thursday.

Citing documents the newspaper said the house was handed over to Jinnah's representative after his death but it was again taken over by the military and continues to keep it under its control till date.

After being requisitioned by the British Army, the property was handed over to Sayed Murtab Ali, the representative of Jinnah in January 1948.

However, it was again taken over by the Pakistan Army for a rent of Rs 500 in 1948 and converted into a residence for the Corps Commander, the daily said.

Jinnah's Lahore house was one of the three major properties bought by the Qaid before Partition. He owned similar palatial houses in Karachi and Mumbai.

While such was the state of Qaid's houses in its own backyard, Pakistan made the acquisition of Jinnah House in Mumbai its prime demand which it later linked to the reopening of the Consulates in Mumbai and Karachi.

India, however, settled the issue by converting Jinnah House into a SAARC museum, which would be developed in the coming years.

Pakistan, nevertheless, insists that it will continue to demand the possession of Jinnah House in Mumbai.