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Hyderabad Fund Case: UK court rejects India’s bid to strike out Pakistan’s 35 m pound claim

Pakistani rangers (wearing black uniforms) and Indian Border Sec

Islamabad: A high court in the United Kingdom today rejected India’s attempt to strike out Pakistan’s claim to the Hyderabad Fund.

The Pakistan Foreign Office in its official release said that the 75-page judgment of Mr. Justice Henderson J. was a clear vindication of Islamabad’s principled stance, and added that an effective legal strategy was being pursued by the new legal team.

According to the release, India had failed to persuade the court that Islamabad’s position was untenable and that it could show no legal entitlement to the 35 million GBP sitting in a bank account in the name of the High Commissioner of Pakistan, since September 20, 1948.

As the result, Mr. Justice Henderson accepted that there was good evidence in support of Pakistan’s claim to the monies, which needed to be fully considered at a trial.

He also accepted that there were good legal arguments which were supportive of Pakistan’s position.

Losing its applications, India will now face a substantial costs claim.

Pakistan’s legal team was led by by Khawar Qureshi QC, who advanced strong legal arguments and placed cogent evidence before the judge, which defeated the India’s argument that Pakistan’s claim to the monies was not valid, the official release said.

Pakistan’s leading Counsel presented arguments before the judge saying that India and the Princes could not assert that Islamabad’s claim to the monies was without basis.

Recalling the history, Pakistan’s leading Counsel pointed out, “Events in 1947-1948 were very tense and the State of Hyderabad (which the Judge accepted was a Sovereign state at the time) was in danger of being attacked and taken over by India, and had called upon Pakistan for assistance.”

It said that the UK Government archive documents, record growing concern voiced by British Government officials at the conduct of India towards the State of Hyderabad and its people, which included imposing a blockade, preventing supplies of medicines and food from entering the State of Hyderabad, all designed to force the Nizam to join India.

The counsel also said that after Quaid-i-Azam passed away, the India seized the opportunity to invade and quickly subjugated the VIIth Nizam.

“Pakistan had emerged from partition with only 3% of the weapons it was entitled to. Nevertheless, it came to the aid of Muslims when India sought to annex the State of Jammu and Kashmir – a bloody conflict ensued which is still costing innocent lives, ” it said.

India dismissing these materials argued that because the VIIth Nizam had asked for the return of the monies within days of its transfer to Pakistan and he must be taken not to have consented to it being handed over to Pakistan.

Following the arguments, the judge observed that it might be naive to expect the VIIth Nizam to have been acting of his own free will after India had invaded his country, and forced him to surrender/hand over power, the official release said.

The case is said to now proceed to trial, unless settled.

Islamabad had offered to mediate in front of retired Law Lords Lord Hoffman or Lord Hope in July 2015, but India had refused on the basis that it believed Pakistan’s claim was not valid.

The official release said that Islamabad remains committed to resolving all disputes by negotiation and believes that the path to peace and progress lies in dialogue.

And if the case is not settled, Pakistan is fully confident that its legal team will prevail, the statement added. (ANI)

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