Quaid-e-Azam’s ‘grandson’ passes away at 70

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Muhammad Aslam Jinnah, who claimed to be the grandson of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, passed away on Monday. He was 70-years-old and died of complications related to old age. Aslam leaves behind a daughter and a wife. His funeral prayers were held today at 1.30pm, and he was laid to rest in Shah Muhammad Shah graveyard in New Karachi, in the presence of friends and family. A resident of North Karachi, Aslam spent much of his life in poverty. It was only in the past eight to 10 years that the provincial government began to provide him with financial assistance in the form of a yearly allowance. The Sindh government also provided the house he resided in, as well as a car and a driver. In his last days, the cost of his treatment was also borne by the provincial government. His relationship with the founding father was disputed, and could never be confirmed. An article published in a local newspaperin 2009, stated that Aslam may have been a descendant of Jinnah’s uncle, Nathoo Poonja. The article cited Gulshan Chandoo, a grand-daughter of Jinnah’s sister Mariambai, as the source of the founding father’s family tree as listed in the article. Similarly, a report in another local newspaper, also published in 2009, cited Liaquat Merchant, grandson of Mariambai as suggesting the same. Merchant was also reported to have said that he did not object to the government’s assistance for Aslam, but wished for the ancestry to be established.