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Pak rejects report on abandoning claim on Jinnah House
January 18, 2008 19:18 IST
Pakistan on Friday dismissed as "incorrect" a media report which suggested that it had abandoned the idea of claiming Jinnah House in Mumbai to open a consulate in India's financial hub.
Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq had been quoted by The News daily as saying that the "government has abandoned the idea" of claiming Jinnah House, which was built in Mumbai by Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
A statement issued today by Sadiq's office said the news report was "incorrect".
"Opening a consulate in Mumbai and leasing Jinnah House for the purpose is a longstanding decision by the government of Pakistan. However, the Indian government has so far not acceded to our request about the leasing of Jinnah House," the statement said.
Sadiq emphasised that "Pakistan maintains its interest in leasing Jinnah House for the proposed consulate. Our efforts to find another premises in Mumbai in the meanwhile have also not succeeded".
Dina Wadia, the only child of Pakistan's founder, and her industrialist son Nusli Wadia recently filed a petition under the Right to Information Act with the Central Information Commission to obtain all documents pertaining to Jinnah House.
The external affairs ministry, however, said revealing the documents could affect ties with Pakistan.
The Jinnah House, located in the posh-Malabar Hills area of Mumbai, was built in 1936. It holds deep sentimental value for the people of Pakistan.
But Dina Wadia and her son have told the Indian government they consider Pakistan's claim on the house as inappropriate.
India had suggested turning the building into the SAARC House, keeping in view sentiments of people of South Asia.