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 famed Kohinoor diamond was given to Britain following an agreement between Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the East India Company.

The petitioner opposing the government’s contention said a treaty had to be reached between two governments and the East India Company was not authorised to sign such an agreement. The British rulers had snatched Kohinoor from Daleep Singh, grandson of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and took it to Britain, the plea stated.

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. He asked the court to direct the government, being a member of the British Commonwealth, to bring the famous diamond back to Pakistan.

The 105-carat diamond, 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. The Kohinoor diamond, kept under tight security at the Tower of London, is claimed by India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and also Iran.

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