New Delhi: BJP leader L K Advani has reiterated his views on All India Muslim League leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah suggesting that Pakistan should have followed his model on secularism.
In an exclusive interview with Pakistani news channel DawnNews TV, Advani stressed Jinnah was inherently a secular leader, and added that had Jinnah’s August 11, 1947 speech been implemented, Pakistan too would have been a secular state.
"Pakistan would have been a secular nation if Jinnah's speech of 1947 was implemented. It was pushed beneath the carpet. Pakistan would have been a different country had Jinnah's views been understood," he said questioning Pakistani leadership for not recognising Jinnah's contribution.
During his 2005 Karachi visit, Advani had eulogized Jinnah’s secular credentials causing a rift within his party. He had received widespread criticism from RSS and ultimately had to step down from BJP president's post.
He was, however, rescued from the isolation within his party by Atal Behari Vajpayee.
“Unhone koi galat kaam nahi kiya (He didn’t do anything wrong). Advaniji has only given his understanding of Jinnah," Vajpayee had said in Advani’s defence.
Advani’s remarks had come as a surprise as he was known for his strong strand against Pakistan.
In his recently released autobiography, My Country, My Life Advani describes Jinnah controversy and his 2005 Pakistan trip as a ‘truly humbling experience.’
While most BJP leaders now lament their disapproval of Advani's masterstroke, there are some like Jaswant Singh who are still angry with Advani over Jinnah.
Jaswant himself is now writing a book on his interpretation of Pakistan's founder.
EXCERPTS FROM THE DAWN NEWS INTERVIEW
Pakistan’s ‘Islamic Republic’ status
|Kashmir issue |
I conceive that there would be a time when decades hence, both the countries would feel that Partition has not solved matters. Why not come together and form some form of confederation or something like that?
|Agra Summit failure |
Musharraf had refused to admit there was any such thing like terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, or in Punjab, which has been inspired by him or his country.