My Feudal Lords!

Delhi, India (PressExposure) September 12, 2009 -- While Jinnah and his understudy, Liaquat, moved over to Pakistan after the Partition in 1947, they left behind palatial properties in Mumbai, Delhi and Karnal, which cost a bomb on current market rates, says Vivek Shukla

While the book on M A Jinnah by Jaswant Singh generated a lot of heat and kicked up a great deal more dust in political as well as intellectual circles, somehow, most people missed out a curious fact about Jinnah, and his deputy in the Muslim League, Liaquat Ali Khan, both of whom left huge properties in India. In terms of valuations of their properties in present context, they must be costing close to Rs 700 to Rs 750 crore.

Jinnah had one house each in the most exclusive areas of both Mumbai (then Bombay) and in New Delhi. While he sold off his 10 Aurangzeb Road mansion in New Delhi before he left for Pakistan in the aftermath of Partition, Jinnah chose not to sell the house on Malabar Hill in Mumbai. This house was designed along European architectural lines and Jinnah’s estranged daughter Dina, claimed that house many times after the demise of her father in 1948, but Indian government never accepted her claim over the property. Pakistan, too, has been asking for the custody of the house of their founding father to start their Mumbai consulate - Indian government rejected this request too.

Mumbaikar Zafar Iqbal, an ex-IAS officer of Maharashtra cadre, says that considering the prime location it is located, Jinnah house is a gold mine. It would cost not less than Rs 125 crore at today’s prices, he says.

Delhi’s Jinnah house has not been so fortunate and unlike the Jinnah House in Mumbai, this has never been in news. Jinnah’s visits to Delhi and northern India increased in frequency after 1940, when the Muslim League demanded a separate state for Indian Muslims. Before he purchased the Delhi house, he used to stay either at Hotel Maidens or Imperial Hotel, instead of staying with some of his party leaders.

It is said Jinnah was not very keen on having a house in Delhi, to begin with. But after some of his close Muslim League colleagues, including Liaquat Ali Khan, persuaded him to have one here, he purchased the 10 Aurangzeb Road house. In fact, many Muslim League leaders also convinced him that as he would have to visit Delhi to meet and organize the Muslims, he must have a house of his own here. Altaf Hussain, editor of The Dawn, the organ of Muslim League, used to stay here. The Dawn, during those days, used to be published from Darya Ganj.

However, before departing for Pakistan, Jinnah, who belonged to Islamia Khoja community of Gujarat, sold this house to Ram Krishna Dalmia for less than Rs 3 lakh - a very big sum in 1947. Realty experts say the current price of 10 Aurangzeb Road would not be less than Rs 200 crore. The likes of Laxmi Mittal and K P Singh of DLF now have huge mansions on this road.

Courtesy:- TOI dt:- 05-09-2009

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And from the exclusive Aurangzeb Road, Tilak Lane is also not very far away. Liaquat Ali Khan used to live with his wife, Gul-e-Rana, who taught English in IP College, Delhi University. Liaquat Ali Khan, who later became the first prime minister of Pakistan, had huge properties in both Delhi and Karnal. Unfortunately, he too could not dispose of his house while going to the county, which he helped create. Indian government later handed over the house to Pakistan government, which is now used as the official residence of their Delhi-based high commissioner

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Press Release Submitted On: September 12, 2009 at 6:33 am
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