Partition of India: the residents of Junagarh from India
A division bench comprising Justice Salahuddin Pahanwar and Justice Shamsuddin Abbasi heard a petition in the Sindh High Court on Monday in which a Junagarh resident complained of not being granted Pakistani citizenship.
According to petitioner Chhoto Mian, his family of four had migrated to Pakistan in 2007 but was not granted Pakistani citizenship.
The petitioner is of the view that the Nawab of Junagarh had joined Pakistan, therefore the residents of Junagarh are citizens of Pakistan.
At the time of Partition of India, there were many states in the subcontinent where Nawabs ruled. One such state was Junagarh in the southwestern coastal region of Gujarat. More than 80% of the population of this state was Hindu but the Nawab of the state had decided to merge with Pakistan. A few months after independence, the state was formally annexed to India. So what is the status of the citizens of the state of Junagarh now, and can they be given Pakistani citizenship?
The Sindh High Court has sought the stand of the Government of Pakistan on the whole matter.
Chhoto Mian’s lawyer Advocate Syed Sikandar told that people from Junagarh have been migrating to Pakistan since the establishment of Pakistan. He said that the state of Pakistan was bound to grant him citizenship but since this process had stopped for some time, the authorities did not know.
Neither the public prosecutor knows that the Nawab of Junagarh had joined Pakistan nor the judges. Therefore, the court has directed the public prosecutor to seek the position of the federal government and inform the court.
According to Advocate Syed Sikandar, Junagarh was occupied by India two months after the establishment of Pakistan, against which Pakistan has approached the United Nations.
In this regard, he referred to Article 2D of the Constitution and said that the Constitution of Pakistan also gives the citizens of Junagarh the right to Pakistani citizenship. Join or become part of Pakistan through or in some other way.
In the next clause, the Majlis-e-Shura may, by law, add new states or territories to the Federation on such condition as it deems fit. However, the previous clause defined Pakistan’s geographical boundaries as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab.
What happened in Junagarh?
Let’s take a look at the past. Prior to the partition of the subcontinent, the British government granted 262 states and Rajas the right to live in Pakistan, India or as independent states. These states included the state of Junagarh, whose Nawab had annexed Pakistan.
The state of Junagarh is located in the Kathiawar region of Indian Gujarat. It consisted of three and a half thousand kilometers. Its land was lush and part of it met the Arabian Sea.
The state had a Hindu majority and a ruling Muslim family.
Accession to Pakistan
During the Partition of India, Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khanji of Junagadh annexed Pakistan and on 15 September 1947 Pakistan also issued an official gazetteer. However, the state did not share borders with Pakistan.
The locals revolted against this decision on the basis of which Indian forces entered Junagarh.
Yaqub Khan Bangash, author of Principal Affairs, writes that the Nawab of Junagarh was Dewan Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto.
The Nawab asked his Diwan to decide what he thought best. The Diwan wrote a letter to the Regional Commissioner asking him to assist the administration in preventing bloodshed and loss of life and property. Thus, on November 9, 1947, India took control of the state in the name of restoring law and order.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan sent a telegram to Nehru in which he strongly protested and termed India’s move as a violation of Pakistani and international law.
Jawaharlal Nehru refused to withdraw Indian forces and promised to turn to the people. After that a referendum was held and in the Indian Army-administered referendum more than 19,000 votes were cast in favor of India while 91 votes were cast in favor of Pakistan. Nawab of Junagarh arrives in Pakistan
After the annexation of this state from India, the Nawab of Junagarh, Mahabat Khanji’s family, Dewan Shahnawaz Bhutto and his pet dogs reached Pakistan by plane, leaving behind a wife and a child. But he never returned.
Nawab Mahabat Khanji passed away on November 7, 1959. He left behind a widow and 17 survivors. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Nawab Dilawar Khanji, and later by Jahangir.
Dispute over property
Disagreements arose in the family over the property of Nawab of Junagarh and the matter reached the Sindh High Court.
In 1963, the Commissioner Karachi divided the property of Junagarh into two parts, one of which was given to Nawab Dilawar and the other to the heirs.
Other heirs did not accept the decision and challenged it in the High Court in the light of Sharia law, whose decision is still pending.
The property of Nawab of Junagarh is owned by the Indian government at Rs 12 million, the government of Pakistan at Rs 3 million, Junagarh House worth crores of rupees in Karachi, 16 acre garden in Malir, Roop Mahal in Hyderabad, Agriculture in Tando Haider. Bagh, Tando Muhammad Khan includes 500 acres of agricultural land, jewelery and diamond jewelery. Old promises and grievances.
Incumbent Nawab Khanji Jahangir of Junagarh had complained in a press conference a few years ago that his family got citizenship after coming to Pakistan but those who came later were facing difficulties.
He also said that earlier there was a quota for admission in jobs and educational institutions which has now been abolished.
The Nawab of Junagarh was also allowed to import duty free vehicles and electronics products which was later withdrawn.