Noticed, how only Vajpayee was there to support him?
It was Advani's decision to be a guest in Musharraf's Pakistan that was more remarkable that anything else. He is (rather was) such a Pakistan basher. That may be one reason he never visited Pakistan when he was in power. Moreover, he had wrecked the Agra summit.
Now, out of power, he decided to visit the country of his birth. A guest lavishing praise on a host is a very normal thing. So, Advani lauding Jinnah or Musharraf or anyone in Pakistan is no big deal. That was why I thought Advani's praise of Jinnah was "just one of those" statements.
Advani is veteran politician, who has seen it all. He will never say or do anything without adequately pondering over the results. Did Advani foresee that his statement on Jinnah would provoke radicals back home? It seems he did. Now the whole thing has come to a head. I think we have seen the last of Advani (and Vajpayee too) in politics.
The parliamentary party has asked him to reconsider his decision. I don't think he will.
Now, BJP faces its toughest challenge. Survival. Not as a party. But as a party acceptable to the world. A party worthy of contesting elections. A party with credentials to rule the country.
The hardliners have now put the onus on the second-rung leaders. We don't need gangsters in the guise of political leaders. Hope BJP doesn't swing back to Hindutva and Pakistan bashing. That would do no one good.
We need statesmen. Not frogs in the well, but visionaries who can see the world in perspective and chart out the role India can play.