India on Thursday rejected Pakistan’s claim over the Jinnah House in Mumbai, the mansion owned by Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah prior to partition, saying the neighbouring country has no locus standi in the matter.
‘’Pakistan is not in the picture at all…it is the Government of India (GoI) property,’’ External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a media briefing when his attention was drawn to his Pakistani counterpart’s statement earlier in the day that Islamabad would not forfeit its claim to the Jinnah House.
The Indian spokesperson said the government was in the process of renovating the Jinnah House and put it into use on the lines of the Hyderabad House in New Delhi.
This came a day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in a letter to BJP legislator Mangal Pratap Lodha, said her ministry was in the process of getting the property transferred in its name.
Meanwhile, the Indian spokesperson took strong objection to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s repeated statements on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. ‘’This reflects Pakistan’s insincerity and duplicity in tackling terrorism,’’ he added.
The spokesperson said India has been consistently demanding that Pakistan should stop exporting terror from its soil. Instead of doing that, Pakistan has the ‘gumption’ to comment on the internal affairs of another country. Pakistan should rather concentrate on dealing with the internal situation in the country which was in a complete mess, he added.
On Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s statement that the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor was part of a larger ‘game-plan’ of Pakistan, the spokesperson said Islamabad’s insincerity had become quite clear from certain controversial statements made by the Pakistan leadership following the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the corridor. ‘’We hope Pakistan will fulfil the commitments it has made with regard to the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor,’’ he added.