I personally felt what Jinnah has gone through: Advani
"I personally have experienced what referring to Jinnah as a person who basically wanted a secular state with a Muslim majority...," Advani said, leaving his statement incomplete but giving enough hint as to what he meant to say.
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Image: BJP leader L K Advani
Jinnah trouble started for Advani in 2005
Advani, who had to resign as BJP president after making the controversial remarks about Jinnah during his visit to Pakistan in 2005, referred to the episode at the launch of book Tinderbox - The Past and Future of Pakistan authored by eminent journalist M J Akbar in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.
He was forced to quit after Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and several leaders within the BJP openly slammed him and demanded his resignation. However, they finally softened their stand against Advani who was reinstated when in December 2007 the party declared him as its prime ministerial candidate.
Image: Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah
'Zia-ul-Haq responsible for Pakistan's political instability'
At the book launch on Tuesday, Advani again described Jinnah again as a secular person and sought to put the blame for the political instability in Pakistan on others like Maulana Abul Ala Maududi, who propounded the two-nation theory, and dictator Zia-ul-Haq.
Endorsing Akbar's views in his book, Advani said, "The author rightly says that Pakistan can become a stable, modern nation only if the children of the Father of Pakistan, Jinnah, can defeat the ideological heirs of the Godfather Maududi."
Image: Pakistan dictator Zia-ul-Haq
'Pakistan won't disintegrate, it'll not explode'
Advani further concurs with the author, saying, "Jinnah maybe the father of Pakistan but its Godfather was Maududi and the impact was so wide, so big". Further arguing his case for Jinnah, the senior BJP leader said, "His very first observation in the constituent assembly was something that many in India particularly those who subscribe to my viewpoint say --- what's this? You think of Jinnah as a person who wanted Pakistan to be a secular state."
The former deputy prime minister maintained that the instability in Pakistan is "certainly a matter of concern" for India but disagreed that it could disintegrate. "Those who think the state is about to disintegrate it is not true. It is not going to explode," he said.
In his book, Akbar refers to Pakistan as a "jelly state -- neither will it achieve stability nor disintegrate". He has also expressed concern over the "large arsenal of nuclear weapons" possessed by Pakistan which makes it "a toxic jelly state". "The thought is not comforting," Advani said.
'Taseer would not be assassinated in India'
The BJP leader also referred to the recent killing of Pakistan Punjab Governor Salman Taseer for questioning blasphemy laws and said such an incident would not have taken place in India.
"This assassination, this killing, would not have taken place if he had been here in India. More disturbing than the killing was the fact that clerics did not come forward to perform his last rites. It is shocking," Advani remarked.
Image: Pakistan's Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, who was killed by his bodyguard