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Pakistan’s Punjab Govt to HC : Pak’s Claim on Kohinoor Now Void

The Kohinoor was handed to the East India Company by the rulers of Punjab over 130 years ago as part of an agreement.

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Responding to a plea to bring back the Kohinoor diamond to Pakistan, provincial Punjab government told the Lahore High Court that the diamond cannot be brought back as it was handed over to the UK under the ‘Treaty of Lahore’ in 1849.

The stunning 105-carat diamond, rightly named “Kohinoor” or “Mountain of Light” is the crown jewel of Queen Elizabeth’s crown and is now at the heart of controversy with pleas from India and Pakistan to return it to its country of origin.

Treaty Of Lahore

“Maharaja Ranjeet Singh had inked the agreement with the East India Company in 1849 under which the precious diamond was given to the UK. Therefore, the UK government cannot be approached for return of the diamond,” a law officer of the provincial government told the court during the hearing of the plea seeking its return.

Copy of the Treaty?

LHC Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan directed the government’s counsel to submit a copy of the agreement between Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the East India Company on the next hearing on 2 May 2016.

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Petitioner Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffrey, argued that both governments were not authorised under the law of the land to sign such an agreement.

In his plea, Barrister Jaffrey has alleged that Britain had snatched the diamond from Duleep Singh, grandson of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh and took it to the United Kingdom.

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The diamond became part of the crown of incumbent Queen Elizabeth-II at the time of her coronation in 1953. Queen Elizabeth has no right on the Koh-i-Noor diamond, which weighs 105 carats and is worth billions of rupees
Javed Iqbal Jaffrey, Barrister
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Kohinoor in Punjab’s Cultural Heritage

He claimed that Kohinoor diamond was “cultural heritage” of Punjab province and its citizens owned it. He prayed to the court to direct the federal government to “bring the diamond back” to Pakistan from the British government.

The Indian Government had said that it will make all efforts to bring back the valued diamond, even though the Supreme Court has stated that the diamond was given to East India Company by erstwhile rulers of Punjab as compensation for helping them in the Sikh wars.

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Topics:  Pakistan   Indian   Lahore High Court 

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