By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) - A British court on Wednesday ruled against Pakistan, denying its claims to a fund of over $43 million dating back to around the time of the partition of Pakistan and India, local media reported.
The case concerns a sum of £1 million (now some £35 million thanks to interest) deposited in 1948 for safekeeping into a British bank account belonging to Pakistan by Osman Ali Khan, then-ruler of the former princely state of Hyderabad before its forcible annexation to India, reported the Express Tribune, a local English daily reported.
The U.K. court ruled in favor of Khan's grandchildren, who joined India against Pakistan's claims.
In a statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said the U.K. High Court of Justice ruling “rejects the longstanding claims of the two major parties."
The ruling fails to take into account the historical context of the transfer when India illegally annexed Hyderabad in violation of international law and all civilized norms, leading its ruler to make desperate efforts to defend his people and the state from Indian invasion, added ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal.
According to Pakistan, the ruler of Hyderabad as a sovereign entity approached Islamabad for assistance, which the government of Pakistan provided.
"Pakistan is closely examining all aspects of the detailed judgment and will take further action in light of legal advice received," Faisal said.