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May 25, 2005 Wednesday Rabi-us-Sani 16, 1426

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Dina seeks Jinnah House’s possession

NEW DELHI, May 24: Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s only daughter, Dina Wadia, has requested the Indian government for the possession to the house where she was born, her father’s most famous property in Mumbai — Jinnah House. In a letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month, she requested possession of the house, which has emerged as an emotive diplomatic point between India and Pakistan, a report in The Times of India said.

Mrs Dina Wadia’s letter came immediately after President Pervez Musharraf, asked Dr Manmohan Singh for Jinnah House for Pakistan’s consulate in Mumbai.

After President Musharraf’s visit, a discussion on Jinnah House between the Indian government and the opposition revealed a finding by a former attorney-general that Mr Jinnah’s legal descendant still had first rights to the property.

Dina Wadia, who lives in the United States, had made claims to her filial property during the previous NDA government, which had attempted to begin the process of returning the property to her, according to The Times of India. But for reasons that remain unclear, the issue fell through the cracks in the hurly-burly of governance and there was no closure.

Situated on Mount Pleasant Road in Mumbai’s prohibitively expensive Malabar Hill, the house, now in a shocking state of disrepair, bore witness to Mr Jinnah’s landmark meetings with Subhash Bose, Mahatma Gandhi (1944) and Jawaharlal Nehru (1946).

Significantly, Mr Nehru resisted registering Jinnah House as evacuee property, though any move to give it to Pakistan died a swift death in India.—PPI

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