Most people go to court to sort financial claims, not usually international political issues. But as we’ve seen with Brexit, they do also end up in the British courts over those too.
And so it was this past week. A UK court in ruling over a financial case involving the Governments of India and Pakistan resulting from accession of Princely States and partition of Pakistan from India. I am not speaking of Kashmir, but the near identical case of Hyderabad. That Pakistan lost its claim is massively significant and overlooked in equal measure – given it made identical claims over Kashmir.
This is the Hyderabad Fund case adjudicated last week in the UK after over 40 years. The Nizam of Hyderabad had yet to decide whether to accede to India after partition. Just like the ruler of Kashmir.
After that point Pakistan’s claim over Hyderabad differs, is stronger than over Kashmir, and for it to have just lost the Hyderabad case in the UK courts, strongly suggests its Kashmir case has negligible legal force.
The ruler of Kashmir after partition was under duress from invading Pakistani forces, as recognized by UN Resolution 47 which requests Pakistan to withdraw those troops, which it conveniently forgets to mention when talking of UN Resolutions. So the Kashmir ruler acceded to India. These matters are undisputed.
Last week, in the Hyderabad Funds case, a British judge ruled the monies sent to the Government of Pakistan by the Nizam of independent Hyderabad (let’s call it ‘Azad Hyderabad’ to indulge and bolster the Pakistani case) belonged to the Nizam’s heirs in India. Not to Pakistan.
With Hyderabad, well, I’ll let Pakistan explain, as reported in their Tribune paper after the Hyderabad Fund case ruling last week: said Pakistan, "The ruling does not take into account the historical context of the transfer when India illegally annexed Hyderabad in violation of International Law and all civilised norms, leading the Nizam of Hyderabad to make desperate efforts to defend his people and the state from the Indian invasion,”
“The Nizam also raised the matter with the UN Security Council where the issue remains on the agenda to date. The Nizam, as a sovereign, approached Pakistan for assistance which the Government of Pakistan provided.” (The Nizam, or Prince, wired funds to Pakistan’s High Commissioner in London fearing the Indian invasion).
The argument Pakistan made at the time was that as Hyderabad was Muslim majority it should like Kashmir be independent or part of Pakistan. The matter remains as Pakistan notes something at the UN.
Sardar Patel then India’s Deputy PM and Home Minister told the Prince he either accedes or the Indian tanks role in.
Today Hyderabad is one of the premier global cities for technology entrepreneurship and one of the wealthiest in India with HQs of Microsoft there. No one, except Hyderabad, doubts it is a part of India. Practice becomes law. Pakistan is deciding whether to appeal – and if it does, well it could get embarrassing as more journalists and commentators make the connection, after all, the British adjudicated, just as Pakistan wanted.