Claiming Koh-i-noor a quirky case: Pakistani daily

Islamabad, Dec 7 (IANS) A Pakistani daily on Monday described as a quirky case the issue of the Koh-i-Noor diamond whose ownership is claimed both by Pakistanis and Indians. It observed that there is no simple solution to this problem.

An editorial “Claiming The Koh-i-Noor” in The Nation on Monday said that even after the Lahore High Court rejected his petition against the British Royal Family, Attorney Jawaid Iqbal Jafree remains persistent to bring back the Koh-i-Noor diamond back to Pakistan.

He has filed yet another court petition naming Queen Elizabeth II as a respondent.

Britain’s then colonial governor-general of India arranged for the huge diamond to be presented to Queen Victoria in 1850, during British colonial rule. For Jafree, however, Koh-i-Noor rightfully belonged to Pakistan’s Punjab province.

The editorial said: “This reclaiming of the past comes at a time when a group of Indian businessmen and actors have also prepared to initiate legal proceedings to demand the return of Koh-i-Noor diamond to India, claiming it to be of their ‘wealth and country’s psyche’.”

“Staying true to the rift between both countries- it is only logical for to get our hands on something that might or might not belong to us. The quirky legal case may well be a lost cause, but it’s a good way to remind all our enemies and fair-weather friends that we are a tough and vocal, and we will never forget our past,” it added.

The daily said that the legacy of imperialism has left deep wounds across the world. “Artifacts from many countries have been pillaged and lost. Ownership of the Koh-i-Noor is a much deeper issue than this one argument. For us it is also feud with India (and Two-Nation Theory), over which part of our joint history we can reclaim as our own.”

It wondered if it is rightfully the property of the subcontinent, “are both India and Pakistan in a position actually ask for it back? Are such artifacts better off outside the country until more stability is achieved? Can both countries agree on a joint ownership?” It is highly unlikely.

“There is no simple solution to this problem. Neither Indians, nor Pakistanis have sole right to the Koh-i-noor, but neither does the United Kingdom.”

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