A few days after a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA demanded that Mumbai's iconic Jinnah House be demolished, Islamabad has hit back, saying Delhi should hand over the iconic building to Pakistan, The Express Tribune reported.
According to the newspaper, the Pakistani Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakria reacted to the demand by saying, "The Jinnah House in Mumbai was the residence with ownership of the father of the nation, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah."
"The government of India should respect the ownership rights of the government of Pakistan in this regard. We also expect that the Indian government will fulfil its obligation of protecting that property and its upkeep," he is reported to have added.
Zakria went on to assert that the property belongs to Pakistan and should be handed back to Pakistan. "On various occasions, the Indian government has promised to hand over the property to the government of Pakistan but have not fulfilled their commitment as yet," The Tribune d him saying.
'VESTIGE OF PARTITION'
On March 25, BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha, while speaking the Maharashtra Assembly, called for demolishing the Mumbai building . "The Jinnah residence in south Mumbai was the place from where the conspiracy of partition was hatched," Lodha said during a discussion on the demands of the Public Works Department.
Lodha claimed that since Parliament has passed the Enemy Property Bill, the property is now owned by the Indian government and the PWD should not spend "lakhs of rupees" for its upkeep and maintenance.
"The structure should be demolished and a cultural centre highlighting Maharashtra's culture and pride should be built. The cultural centre should also exhibit the glorious history of India," Lodha went on to say.