New Delhi, January 12 The dust over his controversial remarks on M A Jinnah may have settled, but BJP leader L K Advani seems to have neither forgotten the aftermath of that “experience” nor changed his mind about his views on the founder of Pakistan.
Six years down the line, the memories of that episode resonated again at a book release function organised to launch senior journalist M J Akbar’s book — Tinderbox-The Past and Future of Pakistan — here on Tuesday (January 11, 2011) evening. “I personally experienced what referring to Jinnah as a person who basically wanted a secular state with a Muslim majority...,” Advani said.
The BJP leader, who had faced castigation from within the party and the RSS for describing Jinnah as secular during his visit to Pakistan in 2005, had to step down as party president. He withdrew his resignation, which was not accepted by the party’s parliamentary board, but the controversy continued to trail his political life.
However, at Tuesday’s function he repeated that Jinnah was a secular person and blamed political instability in Pakistan on others like Maulana Abul Ala Maududi, who propounded the two-nation theory, and dictator Zia-ul-Haq, according to news agencies.
Maulana Abul Ala Maududi
This is not the first time after 2005 that Advani has stood by his Jinnah remarks. Three years ago, he wrote, “I have no regrets” while referring to Jinnah in his memoirs “My Country, My Life”. On the political storm that followed his remarks, he said: “It would not be an exaggeration to say that I was upset.”
Advani endorsed Akbar’s views saying “he 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.”
The BJP leader also agreed with Akbar that “Jinnah may be the father of Pakistan but the Godfather was Maududi and the impact was so wide, so big”.
In the same vein, Advani 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.”
He said that the instability in Pakistan was a matter of concern for India but rejected the theory 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.