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Advani's resignation 'stuns' Pakistan

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June 07, 2005 17:40 IST

Pakistan has came out in support of Bharatiya Janata Party president Lal Kishenchand Advani, who resigned on Tuesday after facing criticism from the Sangh Parivar over his assertion that the founder of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, was secular.

"I think everybody in Pakistan is surprised as to why this happened, because this time in Pakistan he impressed by a new gesture and his remarks about Qaid-e-Azam and other things," Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said in Islamabad.

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"People who think that he is a hardliner... have forgotten his old statements (and are) looking towards a new Advani. And that was good for good relations," the minister said.

The Indian leader was in Pakistan for a seven-day visit.

"Everyone is saying that things are moving in the right direction. But his resignation has stunned the whole nation.

"Of course, you can look that he has got lot of reception in Pakistan this time. His statement in Pakistan changed the total era. Everyone is saying he is a reasonable man and the media has projected him in the wrong way. He got an excellent reception in Pakistan this time," Ahmad said.

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