On Pakistan’s refusal to give up Jinnah House, India says will fight any claim
India on Thursday asserted that Jinnah House, the bungalow in Mumbai built by Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, is its property and that it will fight any claim to the structure from any quarter.Updated: Dec 20, 2018 20:28 IST
India on Thursday asserted that Jinnah House, the bungalow in Mumbai built by Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, is its property and that it will fight any claim to the structure from any quarter.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar made clear that the Indian government’s position soon after Pakistan foreign office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said Islamabad would not relinquish its claim to the palatial marble and wood structure in Malabar Hill.
“They [Pakistan] have no locus standi as far as this property is concerned, this is a government of India property and we are in the process of renovating it and putting it into effective use on the lines of what we do with Hyderabad House in New Delhi,” Kumar told a weekly news briefing, referring to the erstwhile home of the Nizam of Hyderabad that is used for banquets and meetings with foreign leaders.
“Our stand is very clear. This is our property and if there is somebody who contests it, this is something which we will have to fight. There is no doubt in our mind that this is anybody else’s property,” Kumar said.
In a briefing at the foreign office in Islamabad, Faisal said Pakistan continues to exercise its rightful claim to Jinnah House and will act against any “occupation attempts”. He added, “Even India has acknowledged our claim.”
Faisal’s remarks about not relinquishing Pakistan’s claim on the house came a day after it emerged that external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had written a letter to BJP legislator Mangal Prabhat Lodha in which she said her ministry is in the process of “transferring the ownership of the property in our name”.
Jinnah had built the house in 1936 on a 2.5-acre plot. The building was designed by architect Claude Batley and stands opposite the Maharashtra chief minister’s official residence. The protected heritage structure was the venue of a crucial meeting between Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and Jinnah before Partition.
Pakistan has made several requests over the years for the property to be handed over to it for setting up a consulate in Mumbai.
First Published: Dec 20, 2018 20:28 IST