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Jaswant to visit Jinnah's mausoleum in Pak

Jaswant says that the visit is a part of his pilgrimage and should not create a controversy.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2006 22:59 IST

Rajya Sabha'sLeader of Opposition Jaswant Singh announced on Saturday his plans to visit the Jinnah mausoleum as a part of his week-long pilgrimage to Pakistan.

The announcement comes barely months after LK Advani's Pakistan visit and his controversial remarks on Jinnah had cost him his job as the BJP President.

Asked whether his visit could trigger of a controversy akin to Advani's trip, the former External Affairs Minister said "I don't think it will lead to any controversy. I am going on a pilgrimage".

"Just like the people who come here and visit Mahatma Gandhi's Samadhi, I will certainly go to Quaid-E-Azam Jinnah's mausoleum", he said.

"He is the Quaed-e-Azam of Pakistan. I am going to fulfil my duty as a guest and I cannot be disrespectful to them by refusing to visit the Mausoleum", he added.

To a question whether he considered Jinnah to be secular, he said, "I will answer it at an appropriate time".

Advani's visit last June and his remarks in the visitors book at the Mausoleum had triggered off an ideological clash in the Sangh Parivar leading to his stepping down as party Chief last December.

First Published: Jan 21, 2006 20:07 IST