ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria on Thursday said the government of India should respect the ownership rights of the government of Pakistan regarding Jinnah House in Mumbai.
The FO spokesman maintained that founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah owned the house and Pakistan has repeatedly expressed its desire to take possession of the property.
He expressed hope that the government of India will respect the ownership rights of the government of Pakistan in this regard and will fulfill its obligation of protecting the property and its upkeep.
“We have already taken it up with Indian authorities, and it is an ongoing matter. The property belongs to the Founder of Pakistan and should be given to Pakistan. On various occasions, the Indian Government has promised to handover the property to the Government of Pakistan but have not fulfilled their commitment as yet,” said Zakaria.
It is pertinent here to mention that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha has demanded demolition of the iconic Jinnah House in Mumbai.
He said Indian treatment of its Christians, Muslims and other minorities, is deplorable, as it encourages incitement to hatred and violence. It is happening as the Indian Government in New Delhi stands back and watches.
“The international community needs to take notice of extremely vitriolic statements by those in power in India, like UP Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath. There are reports by International Institutions expressing deep concern over persecution of religious minorities in India by elements with official backing. The genocide of Muslims in Gujarat during 2002 is still fresh in people’s minds,” he said.
The FO said Pakistan has urged the United Nations and the international community to take notice of grave human rights violations by Indian forces in Occupied Kashmir.
He said discrimination and mistreatment of minorities especially Muslims in India has become order of the day.
Nafees Zakaria expressed the confidence that better management of the Western border would help address the challenge of terrorism.
He said Pakistan and Afghanistan should work together to root out the menace of terrorism.
The spokesman said Pakistan continues to suffer from Indian-sponsored and financed terrorism. Indian spy agency, RAW, agent Kulbhushan Yadav’s arrest and public confession of Indian state agencies’ involvement in subversive activities and terror financing is a case in point, he added.
“We have constantly registered our concern over use of Afghan soil against Pakistan with ample indications of Indian involvement. RSS and other fascist and terrorist organizations such as Abhinav Bharat, etc. have been found involved in staging terrorist attacks on Indian soil and blaming it on others,” he said.
He said we should not forget that the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack of February 2007 was planned and carried out by Swami Assemanand, RSS activist, who confessed and also admitted that Col. Purohit, then a serving Indian Army officer, was also involved.
To a query, he said China is a longstanding friend of Pakistan. Our relationship is based on the merits of equality, mutual respect and understanding. The bilateral relationship is diverse and wide ranging, and encompasses the areas of cooperation in defence, cultural, economic and education, to name a few, he said.
“Our bilateral trade has exceeded US $19 bn last year. This relationship has been transformed, and taken to another level by China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is considered a game changer in terms of economic development for not only Pakistan and China but also the entire region.