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Advani pays homage at Jinnah's mausoleum

By K G Suresh in Karachi
June 04, 2005 19:18 IST
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Bharatiya Janata Party president Lal Kishenchand Advani on Saturday paid homage at the mausoleum of the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, becoming the most senior Indian politician ever to do so since the sub-continent's partition.

Advani, who sought to disassociate himself from the Sangh Parivar's pet 'Akhand Bharat' theory two days back, placed a wreath at Jinnah's 'mazar' to the sounding of bugles by Pakistani navy personnel and stood in silence as a cleric offered Al-Fateha.

"There are many people who leave an inerasable stamp on history. But there are a few who actually create history. Qaed-E-Azam Mohd Ali Jinnah was one such rare individual," Advani wrote in the visitors book at the mausoleum which he visited with his family amid unprecedented security.

In a similar gesture, the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had paid homage at Lahore's 'Minar-E-Pakistan' following his historic bus journey in February 1999. However, some Islamic fundamentalist group had washed the monument after his visit to register their protest.

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K G Suresh in Karachi