Junagadh heir for ‘rights’ restoration

20 Apr 2007

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LAHORE, April 19: The grandson of the ruler of the princely state of Junagadh, on Thursday lamented confiscation of the rights granted to the Nawab family in Pakistan, and demanded their restoration.

Nawab Mohammad Jahangir Khan told a news conference here the government of Pakistan withdrew in 1972 the diplomatic passports, a special protocol, and other rights conferred upon the family and about 200,000 other residents of the former state who migrated to Karachi after Junagadh ruler Mahabat Khan announced accession to Pakistan at the time of independence.

Saying the Rs16,000 monthly stipend being paid to him was hardly sufficient for the family’s needs, the Nawab demanded a raise in the amount. He also sought Pakistani citizenship for many residents of the former state who still wanted to migrate to Pakistan.

Distributing copies of the instrument of state’s accession among reporters, he said that his grandfather issued the proclamation on September 14, 1947, to join Pakistan, and Quaid-I-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, as the first governor-general of the new dominion, accepted it the following day.

According to the instrument, the dominion of Pakistan was given the right of defence, internal and external affairs and the control of state’s naval, military and air forces, and the dominion’s legislative assembly was required to frame laws and rules for their administration. However, he said, the assembly instead of enacting necessary laws later removed Junagadh from Pakistan’s map.

The Nawab said the Indian authorities also made a matching offer which the family rejected. He pleaded that the Pakistan’s map should be redesigned to include the state.