KARACHI Feb 13: A leading archaeologist and expert in heritage treasures has conducted research that Wazir Mansion, officially accepted as the birthplace of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah did not exist when the Quaid was born and he was born in a house which was situated adjacent to the land on which the Wazir Mansion stands.

“The building that is a national monument is a structure that did not exist before 1883, and its status as birth place is misplaced,” Dr Kaleemullah Lashari, Director-General of Projects and Special Initiatives, arrives at this conclusion in his research to find the actual birthplace of the Quaid.

It was mid-1990s when a controversy over the Quaid’s birthplace hit the headlines and also became a point of debate in the Sindh assembly to determine whether Mr Jinnah was born in Karachi or in a hilly-tract village of district Thatta called Jhiruk. The controversy erupted owing to conflicting textbook essays being taught in schools. This anomaly existed since 1950s when children were being taught in some textbooks that the Quaid was born in Jhiruk while others stressed that he was born in Karachi.

During controversy, those who advocated Jhiruk as the Quaid’s birthplace quoted the statements of area elders who used to tell their later generations that Mr Jinnah’s father, Poonja Bhai used to live in the town.

Those who insist that Quaid was born in Jhiruk also claim that the original muster roll registr of a local Sindhi primary school where the Quaid was claimed to have been admitted containing Mohammed Ali Jinnah Poonja as student was taken away by a committee constituted by the then Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in connection with fact-finding but never returned.

But, others referred to Quaid’s own statements, significantly the ones which he had given during 1918 and 1938 All India Muslim League conferences in Karachi, in which he had expressed his delight for being in the city where he was born. PPP’s Dr Abdul Wahid Soomro had then moved the Sindh Assembly to correct the fact about the birthplace of the Quaid in 1996, which led to Chief Minister Abdullah Shah to ask the Sindh Textbook Board to investigate and constituted a committee

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