New Delhi, Dec 20 : India has made it clear that Pakistan has no say whatsoever on Jinnah House, the sea-facing bungalow in Mumbai of founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali which is in the process of being turned into a cultural and convention centre.
“Pakistan is not in the picture,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday in response to a question at a media briefing.
“They have no locus standi as far as this property is concerned,” Kumar said. “It is a government of India property.”
His remarks came after the Pakistan Foreign Office earlier in the day said that Islamabad would not relinquish its claim over the property.
Jinnah’s daughter Dina Wadia had moved the Bombay High Court in August 2007 claiming ownership of the property on the ground that she was sole legal heir of Jinnah.
After she passed away in December last year, her son and Wadia group chairman Nusli Wadia is carrying on the litigation process.
“We are actually in the process of renovating it and putting it to effective use on the lines of what we do with Hyderabad House in New Delhi,” Kumar said.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in a letter to Mumbai BJP legislator Mangal Prabhat Lodha, said that the Prime Minister’s Office has approved the property to be transferred to her ministry.