Pakistan has a habit of reviving old cases and losing them all over again. Yet again, Pakistan lost its claim over the £ 1 million deposited with Pakistan’s High Commission in London in the year 1948 by the Hyderabad Nizam. The current value of the deposited amount is £ 35 million or about Rs 306 crore.
Pakistan’s claim dates back to the post-partition era of India. The Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to have his independent state of Hyderabad and not merge with India or Pakistan. He sought help from Pakistan and Pakistan looked at it as an opportunity to have Hyderabad merged with Pakistan later.
Nizam decided to keep arm his constituency and asked Pakistan became its source for the same.To proceed with the deal, the Nawab Moin Nawaz Jung, Nizam’s Finance and Foreign Minister transferred a whopping £ 1,007,940 to Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola's account on behalf of the Nizam.
However, in 1948, Hyderabad was annexed and merged with India. Nizam’s plan had failed, he did not get an independent state so, he decided to have his money back. Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan later stated that his FM had transferred funds without his consent.
In 1954, he appealed to the UK court to release the money deposited with the Pakistan High Commission. Pakistan cried about sovereign immunity to avoid the repayment, and thus, the case came to a halt.
Nizam had started a fund after the case to release his money was frozen, the fund was to run on the interest of the frozen funds.In 1960. He passed on the trust of his grandsons- the current claimants- and the claim over money to the President of India.
In 2013, Pakistan forgot about its sovereign immunity cry and sued the bank holding the custody of Nizam’s fund, in turn, ended up kicking the only defence it had for 65 years. The trust ceased to function, but filing the case also meant Pakistan waived off its sovereign immunity.
The case was back in court, Pakistan argued that the Nizam’s claim had expired to which Indian countered stating it was because Pakistan blocked the proceeding. Pakistan also argued that Hyderabad was illegally merged with India which fell on its face soon enough. The UK court dismissed the argument stating the princes and the President of India had settled the dispute with an agreement long before.
The UK court concluded by acknowledging the Nizam and the President of India’s claim over the funds. It left the matter for both claimants to discuss and share the money among each other.
After 65 years, Pakistan managed to add to its legacy of reviving an old case just to lose it all over again.