UK court re­jects In­dian bid to strike out Pak­istan’s claim

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

OB­SERVER RE­PORT IS­LAM­ABAD—Pak­istan on Tues­day won a bid in the Hy­der­abad fund case against In­dia. The case catered to the re­lease of funds worth one mil­lion pounds by the Nizam Mir Os­man Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII, the last Nizam of the state of Hy­der­abad to the newly formed state of Pak­istan.

Ac­cord­ing to For­eign Of­fice, the English High Court made the de­ci­sion of the case in Pak­istan’s favour in the 75-page judge­ment, which also hinted to­wards the ef­fec­tive­ness of the strat­egy adopted re­gard­ing the deal­ing of the case by the Pak­istani le­gal team. The value of the monies had in­creased from an ini­tial amount of a mil­lion pounds, named in 1948, to thir­ty­five mil­lion pounds dur­ing cur­rent times.

In­dia adopted the stance that Pak­istan’s claim to the 35 mil­lion pounds present in a bank ac­count and named to the Pak­istani High Com­mis­sion since Septem­ber 20, 1948, was not valid how­ever the judge be­lieved that there was quite some ev­i­dence that sup­ported Pak­istan’s claim to the monies en­ti­tled by the Nizam of Hy­der­abad.

The judge made the de­ci­sion in Pak­istan’s favour whilst not­ing that the cir­cum­stances in 1947-48 were tense and that at­tempts were made by In­dia to curb sup­ply of food and medicine to the State of Hy­der­abad in or­der to per­suade the Nizam to join In­dia.

The case shall now pro­ceed to trial un­less set­tled be­tween both neigh­bour­ing coun­tries. The For­eign Of­fice stated that Pak­istan of­fered to me­di­ate the case in July 2015 in front of re­tired Law Lords but In­dia re­fused the of­fer claim­ing that Pak­istan’s stance was not a valid one.

FO noted that Pak­istan in­tends to re­solve all dis­putes through ne­go­ti­a­tions, fur­ther adding that if the par­tic­u­lar case does not get set­tled then the coun­try is ut­most con­fi­dent that its le­gal team shall pre­vail.

In­dia, which would now face a sub­stan­tial costs claim af­ter los­ing its ap­pli­ca­tions, had ar­gued that Pak­istan’s claim to the money was not valid.

Af­ter hear­ing the ar­gu­ments put for­ward by Pak­istan’s le­gal team, the judge con­sid­ered the ev­i­dence that “In­dia and Princes could not as­sert that Pak­istan’s claim to the monies was with­out ba­sis”.

Ac­cord­ing to The Times of In­dia, the Hy­der­abad Fund was a trans­fer of GBP 1,007,940 and 9 shillings to a Lon­don bank ac­count in the name of Pak­istan’s first High Com­mis­sioner to the United King­dom, Habib Ibrahim Rahim­toola, at the West­min­ster Bank in 1948.

The money was trans­ferred to Rahim­toola by an agent who was act­ing on be­half of the seventh Nizam of Hy­der­abad, the TOI re­ported.

When In­dia and Pak­istan were be­ing formed as sov­er­eign states in 1947, there were sev­eral princely states too, which were given a choice by the United King­dom to join ei­ther of the two new states or re­main in­de­pen­dent.

Nizam had de­cided to re­main in­de­pen­dent but Hy­der­abad was an­nexed to In­dia on Septem­ber 18, 1948.

On Septem­ber 20, 1948, the money was trans­ferred to Rahim­toola, and seven days later on Septem­ber 27, Nizam “sought to re­v­erse the trans­fer claim­ing that it had been made with­out his author­ity”.

The For­eign Of­fice, in its state­ment, said the events in 1947-48 were very tense.

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