Jinnah House demolition? Imran Khan says ‘History cannot be wished away by demolishing buildings’

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Published: April 6, 2017 7:02:27 PM

Imran Khan said that Jinnah House must be left undamaged.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan said that Jinnah House must be left undamaged. (Reuters)

Pakistan expressed its concerns over the safety of Jinnah House in Mumbai a few days back when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha demanded the demolition of the house. Pakistan has indicated its wish to India that the property should be protected. In his reaction, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan said that Jinnah House must be left undamaged. Imran took to Twitter and said “Indian parliamentarians’ calls to demolish Jinnah House unfortunate and disturbing. History cannot be wished away by demolishing buildings.”

In the place of Jinnah House Lodha had sought the construction of a cultural centre. He had said that Jinnah House is a symbol of partition and it needs to be demolished. Lodha said after the Parliament passed the Enemy Property Act, Jinnah House was the property of the Indian government. “Demolishing the property is the only option,” he said.

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On this Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that Jinnah House was the residence with ownership of the father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. He added that Pakistan has repeatedly expressed its desire to take possession of the property. ‘The Government of India should respect the ownership rights of the Government of Pakistan in this regard…. We also expect that Indian Government will fulfil its obligation of protecting that property and its upkeep,” he said.

The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, which amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968, was passed by voice vote in the Lok Sabha on March 14, incorporating the amendments made by the Rajya Sabha last week. As per the Act, successors of those who migrated to Pakistan and China during partition will have no claim over the properties left behind in India.

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