KARACHI: Former Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh and the author of the latest book on the Quaid-i-Azam, calls the partition of India a “great tragedy”, which according to him even “(Muhammad Ali) Jinnah did not want”.
In an interview to the Express News programme Front Line with Kamran Shahid, he said Mr Jinnah had spent almost his entire life as an Indian, except for the last 13 months of his life, which he spent in Pakistan.
Insisting that Mr Jinnah and Mr (MK) Gandhi, who were originally from the same area of what is now the Indian state of Gujarat, wanted to unify India, Mr Singh blamed the British Raj and Jawaharlal Nehru for committing “this act of partition”, which was “full of mistakes.”
Expressing deep grief over the partition of the subcontinent, he argued: “Muslims did not benefit from the partition, and if the Indian sub-continent had remained undivided, we would have become a great (global) power.”
Referring to the intolerance demonstrated by the BJP which expelled him from the party after the release of his book, Mr Singh said: “When Mr (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee wrote a note of appreciation for Mr Jinnah in the visitor’s book at the Minaari Pakistan in Lahore, you washed the place we’d visited; what ‘tolerance’ are we talking about?”
Talking on other issues, Mr Singh refused to acknowledge the role of the Indian spy agency, RAW, in destabilising Pakistan, through Kabul or elsewhere. He also talked about terrorism and the importance of Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and others in the context of regional peace. “Pakistan’s handing over of Hafiz Saeed will be a goodwill gesture,” Mr Singh said.
Mr Singh has given some very interesting answers to questions related to the Indians’ perception of Pakistan’s spy agency the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the socalled war of ego between Mr Jinnah and Mr Gandhi and the real conditions in which Muslims are living in India.
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