B. Muralidhar Reddy

ISLAMABAD: Political observers here are intrigued over the decision of the senior BJP leader, Jaswant Singh, not to visit the Jinnah mausoleum though he has been in Pakistan for six days and in Karachi for over four days.

The visit of Mr. Singh to Karachi, where the mausoleum is located, was to have ended on Sunday morning as he and his team intended to leave for the Sehwan Sharif shrine back on their journey to India by road.

However, it appears that Mr. Singh cancelled his visit to the shrine after he developed fever and was advised by doctors to take a day's rest.

It is believed that he would leave for Jagir on Monday to join the rest of his delegation. After a night's stay there, he would cross into India through the Khokhrapur border by road.

Mr. Singh's personal staff insist that the visit to Jinnah mausoleum was never part of his itinerary. It is in total contrast the statement attributed to Mr. Singh at his press conference in New Delhi prior to his Pakistan yatra and the remarks attributed to the BJP spokesman on the day he embarked on the trip.

At a press briefing on January 21, Mr. Singh was quoted as saying that he would be visiting the westernmost Shaktipeeth of Hinglaj Mata in Baluchistan by road through the Munnabao-Khokrapar route on January 30 and would be returning a week later after paying obeisance at the dargah of Shahbaz Kalandar and staying with his relatives in Jagir and Umerkote.

"Just as people who come here visit Mahatma Gandhi's samadhi, I will certainly go to Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah's mausoleum," he had told reporters in New Delhi.