New Delhi: Islamabad today urged New Delhi to show due respect to “ownership rights” to Jinnah House situated in Mumbai and handover the property to Pakistan. This statement came in the wake of demand made by BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha to demolish the Jinnah House. Lodha had asked for the replacement of Jinnah House with a cultural centre.
Commenting on the issue Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said, “Jinnah House in Mumbai was the residence with ownership of the father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. 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.” “The property belongs to the Founder of Pakistan and should be given to Pakistan,” he added.
Previously, the Indian government has declined Pakistan’s wish to use Jinnah House as its consulate in the financial capital. Reports suggest that the declination was because an issue about India being allowed to reopen a consulate in Karachi. There has been not progress in the matter as yet.
The Jinnah House is located in Malabar Hill area in south Mumbai and has been under legal dispute over ownership for a long time now. The dispute is between Jinnah’s daughter Dina Wadia and the Indian and Pakistani governments. Apart from these, Mohamed Ebrahim and Shakir Ebrahim, son and grandson of Ashraf Rajabally Ebrahim, the daughter of Jinnah’s sister Mariam, have also laid their claims over the grand house.
According to the Indian government, Jinnah had willed the property to his sister Fatima Jinnah in a will dated May 30, 1939. Post partition, India had classified all the movable and immovable property of those who moved to Pakistan as “evacuee property” and took them over. However, then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru ensured the Jinnah’s properties were not classified as part of a goodwill gesture.