Pakistan today expressed concern over the safety of ‘Jinnah House’ located in Mumbai and said India should show respect towards it, days after a BJP MLA demanded that the building be demolished. Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria, at his weekly briefing, said, “We have clarified our position on the Jinnah House matter to the Indian government.” He expressed concern over the safety of ‘Jinnah House’, the residence of Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah in south Mumbai, after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha last week demanded that the building be demolished and a cultural centre built in its place.
Zakaria said that the Indian government should realise the importance of the building and show respect towards it. Lodha, speaking in Maharashtra’s Legislative Assembly on the budgetary demands of the Public Works Department (PWD), said, “The Jinnah residence in south Mumbai was the place from where the conspiracy of partition was hatched.” “Jinnah House is a symbol of the partition. The structure should be demolished,” he had said. The grand house built by Jinnah is located in Malabar Hill area in south Mumbai.
Lodha had demanded that that a cultural centre be built in its place. He said that the Jinnah residence in south Mumbai is where the conspiracy of partition was hatched and it is a symbol of the partition. He said since the Parliament has passed the Enemy Property Act, Jinnah House was an Indian property and “Demolishing the property is the only option,” he said. He said Jinnah’s heirs cannot lay claim to the property.
He said that lakhs of rupees in spent on taking care of the structure. His proposal is to build a centre in its place which highlights Maharashtra’s culture. On March 14 the Lok Sabha passed the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, which amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968. It incorporated the amendments made by the Rajya Sabha. As per the Act, people who migrated to Pakistan during Partition of India will have no claim on their properties on this side of the border.