I normally follow any of my letters on the issue of stateless Pakistanis, the so-called “Biharis” of East Pakistan.
But I didnt realize this piece, on a less depressing topic, had made it into The News.
The consulates snag
I thoroughly enjoyed Babar Ayaz’s piece “The consulates snag” (June 30). However, a correction is warranted. Mr Babar is of course correct that countless homes were declared evacuee properties. However, it is incorrect to include Jinnah House among them. Nehru never declared Jinnah House as an evacuee property, though he was unable to convince his cabinet to permit Pakistan to use it. It is worth noting that the Quaid had a second residence in India, at 10 Aurangzeb Road in Delhi. He sold that property at the time of partition. It currently serves as the residence of the Dutch ambassador to India. The Quaid never abandoned his claim to Jinnah House.
As late as July 30, 1948, the Indian High Commissioner cabled that the Quaid had expressed his intention to retire at his home on Malabar Hill. Furthermore, both the Quaid’s and Nehru’s papers reflect exchanges on administration of the property. Jinnah House has many claimants today. But the original owner never gave up his claim.