Giving yet another shock to Pakistan, the UK High Court gave its ruling on Wednesday in a decades-old legal battle between Pakistan and India, rejecting Islamabad’s claims to an amount of £35 million in the case involving the Nizam of Hyderabad at the time of partition.
The Nizam’s descendants, Prince Mukarram Jah, the eighth Nizam of Hyderabad and his younger brother Muffakham Jah, joined hands with the Indian government in the legal fight against the Pakistan government over the £35 million funds lying with NatWest Bank in London.
The original amount was about £1,007,940 – transferred in 1948 from the then Nizam of Hyderabad to the high commissioner in Britain after Pakistan came into being. The amount has since sat in the Natwest Bank and its value, accruing interest, has increased to around £35 million in around 70 years.
The judgment says £35 million – belonging to Nizam of Hyderabad at the time of partition in 1947 and given to Pakistan for safe-keeping in Natwest London bank account – belongs to India/heirs of Nizam.
“We are delighted that today’s judgment recognises His Exalted Highness the VIII Nizam’s rights to funds which have been in dispute since 1948,” responded Paul Hewitt, partner in Withers LLP, who have acted for the VIII Nizam since Pakistan issued proceedings in 2013. “Our client was still a child when the dispute first arose and is now in his 80s. It is a great relief to see this dispute finally resolved in his lifetime,” he added.
After a series of setbacks in international forums on Kashmir issue, the ruling has left Pakistan once again ashamed in front of the international community.