Personally felt what Jinnah went through: Advani

Five years after courting controversy for praising MA Jinnah, senior BJP leader LK Advani still seems to be haunted by it.

New Delhi: Five years after courting
controversy for praising MA Jinnah, senior BJP leader LK
Advani still seems to be haunted by it as he remarked that he
had "personally" experienced what the Pakistan founder would
have gone through by advocating for a secular State.

"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.

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 MJ Akbar here Tuesday evening.

He was forced to quit after RSS and several leaders
within the BJP openly slammed him and demanded his
resignation.

However, RSS and BJP finally softened their stand against
Advani who was reinstated when in December 2007 the party
declared him as its prime ministerial candidate.

At the book launch yesterday, 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, "He
(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."

Advani further concurs with the author, saying, "Jinnah
maybe the father of Pakistan but 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.

PTI

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