Let there be a debate on remarks on Jinnah: Advani

Himalayan News Service

New Delhi, June 6:

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president LK Advani today described his visit to Pakistan as “an unforgettable week in my life” and said he would welcome a debate on his remarks praising Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah that have irked Hindu hardliners. “I heard that my remarks on Muhammad Ali Jinnah have become a point of discussion here. I do not mind a debate on the issue. I want people to discuss the issue,” Advani told reporters at Indira Gandhi International Airport on his arrival from the historic tour during which he visited Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. Hindu hardliners, especially the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad have taken strong exception to his comments lauding Jinnah for his espousal of secularism and Hindu-Muslim unity. Both the organisations have demanded the resignation of Advani as party chief for dissociating himself from their concept of ‘Akanda Bharat’ (Undivided India) as he had said that the emergence of both India and Pakistan as separate sovereign nations was an

“unalterable reality of history”. “Everyone there said your government took the initiative to start the peace process between the two countries. We should take this process forward,” he said.