By Afshain Afzal
Over the arrest of Chairman Tehrik-e-Insaf Party (PTI) Imran Ahmed Khan Naizi, who is a former Pakistani Prime Minister, by National Accountability Authority (NAB) on 9 May 2023, protests damaged and set on fire “Jinnah House” under occupation of Pakistan Army’s Commander 4 Corps, located at Lahore Cantonment. The arsonists deliberately set founder of Pakistan’s house on fire, as a fraud to grab property of Quaid-e-Azam. Such frauds are in progress everywhere in the country. The protesters also entered the Main gate of Army Hockey Stadium on Mall Road, Rawalpindi, which is about 500 meters from Gates of Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters (GHQ). It is being referred by media as if protesters entered GHQ was unattended when protesters entered the gate. No doubt, Pakistan Army is strong enough to guard its installations as well as frontiers of Pakistan but certain black sheep inch wards of Army officers are part of this conspiracy.
Interestingly, the “Jinnah House”, which is occupied by Commander 4 Corps at Lahore is personal property of founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The Revenue record also confirms that Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was owner of House No 53 and 54, Lahore Cantonment. Documentary evidence reflect that the House was acquired by the British under Acquisition Act 1892 from Quaid-e-Azam but in 1946, Quaid-e-Azam wrote a letter to British Military authorities at Lahore to de-hire house. The British authorities requested to allow certain repairs for renovation before it could be returned. The cunning British officers got re-evaluated this huge house and got its tax increased to manifold. Before the partition, the British Army returned the house to Quaid-e-Azam.
It is totally misleading that the Corps Commander House was requisitioned by the British Army from them, the Pakistan Army reasserted control over the property, offering a monthly rent of Rs 500 and since then, the property serves as the official residence for the Corps Commander of Lahore. The version of Revenue authorities is also misleading that the official record shows that Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had purchased the property in 1943 when the house was already under the British army’s use. No doubt, all the properties of Quaid-e-Azam and his belongings are national heritage and no one has the right to occupy it or claim its owners. Another misleading and attempt of forgery is that an official letter written by the Lahore cantonment Executive Officer to the Secretary Punjab Board of Revenue reflect that Jinnah House, which was originally taken over by the British army, was returned to the Quaid-i-Azam’s representative after his death. However later, it was again taken over by the Ministry of Defence and continues to be in military’s use.
Quaid-e-Azam had also a huge house at Mount Pleasant Road, Malabar Hill, Bombay, measuring area of 2.5 acres, which after partition went under Indian government's ownership. In March 2017, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker, Mangal Prabhat Lodha, demanded that a residence owned by Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Mumbai be demolished and that a cultural centre be built in its place. He said, "Jinnah House is a symbol of the partition. The structure should be demolished." As per the reports Quaid-e-Azam had also huge properties in Walton Cantonment, Lahore and Karachi. His family being successful businessmen of first class, Quaid-e-Azam had also huge properties in Kenya and South Africa. But the greedy land grabbers are after his properties as well as properties of Madar-e-Millat Fatima Jinnah. It is high time that National Accountability Authority and Supreme Court of Pakistan must take immediate action as the arson at Corps Commander House at Lahore was deliberate with mala-fides intensions. One wonders what India could not do to the property of Quaid-e-Azam in Mumbai, Pakistani Indian agents did this in Lahore and are glorifying their crime.--