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UK Court Rules Against Pakistan In Hyderabad Fund Case

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A United Kingdom court has ruled against Pakistan in the Hyderabad Fund case. The case revolves around the £35 million (then £1 million) transferred to Pakistan by the Nizam of the former princely state of Hyderabad, Osman Ali Khan.

Before the annexation of the state of Hyderabad, Osman Ali Khan had sent £1 million to the then Pakistani ambassador in London for safekeeping. The amount, accruing interest over the years, is now £35million and is in the National Westminster Bank in London.

Both the Nizam’s descendants and the state of Pakistan are a claimant to the amount. The Nizam’s grandson, Mir Najaf Ali Khan, was the representative of the Osman Ali Khan’s descendants in the case.

According to a report in Express Tribune, a high court of the UK has ruled in favour of the Nizam’s heirs, and has stated, “There is no illegality alleged that is sufficient to cause this Court to prevent the Princes and India – specifically, India – from asserting her claim to the Fund.”

The proceedings regarding the case began in 2012 when the then Pakistani High Commission Wajid Shamsul Hassan waived Pakistan’s immunity in the matter.

Pakistan’s lawyer in the case, Khawar Qureshi, was unable to fight the case effectively, resulting in the verdict against Pakistan.

The verdict, which was issued on Wednesday, gave the reasons for the failure of Pakistan’s illegality argument. Firstly, it stated that India was right in its assertion that the question of illegality was ‘analytically irrelevant’ to the claim to the Fund put forth by India.

Secondly, it stated, “Even if the question of illegality was relevant to India’s claims, the Settlement between the Princes and India had rendered the issue irrelevant because the rival claims to the Fund of the Princes and India have validly been compromised, such that the question of illegality is no longer before the Court.”

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has announced that it was currently engaged in the close examination of the judgement and would undertake further action following legal advice.

It has further stated that the ruling does not take into account the historical context of the transfer whereby India had illegally annexed Hyderabad in violation of International Law.

The Foreign Office further said that the Nizam of Hyderabad had raised the matter with the United Nations Security Council and had also approached Pakistan for assistance, which was provided by the government of Pakistan.

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