India, Pakistan would have remained united if Jinnah was made PM: Dalai Lama

Kashmir Times. Dated: 8/9/2018 4:23:40 PM

GOA, Aug 8 (Agencies): Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Wednesday said India and Pakistan would have remained united if the prime ministership was given to Muhammad Ali Jinnah and not to Jawaharlal Nehru, as per the wish of Mahatma Gandhi. However, Nehru refused as he wanted the position for himself, added the Dalai Lama.
Addressing an event at the Goa Institute of Management, the 14th Dalai Lama said that Gandhi was 'very much willing' to give the leadership to Jinnah but Nehru's self-centred attitude resulted in the mistake. Nehru wanted that he should be the Prime Minister, he added. The Dalai Lama said that had the thinking of Mahatma Gandhi been materialised then India-Pakistan would have remained united today.
At the event, he also appealed to Muslims in India to make efforts to reduce Shia-Sunni conflicts that are prevalent in some other countries and asserted that Islam is a religion of peace. He lamented the bloodshed over denominational differences, which he said should be avoided as Islam teaches compassion and harmony.
The Dalai Lama stressed the need for international brotherhood and harmony. "We are part of the world of seven billion human beings. Sometimes, I suggested that the Indian community in America, England and different European countries should invite some Europeans during Diwali and New Year, and talk about 'ahimsa' (non-violence) which is the basis of religious tolerance," he said.
Sunni and Shia are two major denominations of Islam. They chose sides after the death of Islamic prophet Muhammad in AD 632. "Muslims across the globe follow the same Quran and also pray five times a day. However, there are killing each other owing to differences between the sects like Shia and Sunni," he said.
The Dalai Lama said, "I was in Ladakh. I suggested to Ladakhi Muslims that Indian Muslims should make some efforts to reduce the conflict between Shias and Sunnis". He told the audience that a national conference of Muslims would be organised in the coming months, which will be followed by a similar convention at the international level. He said modern India has remained by and large peaceful due to the over 1000-year-old history of religious harmony.



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