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January 15, 2020

After losing Nizam of Hyderabad case in London, legal cost being paid from expats welfare fund

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January 15, 2020

DUBAI: The government of Pakistan has come up with the novel idea to pay the legal battle charges of “Nizam of Hyderabad case” from the social and welfare funds in the accounts of Pakistani missions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia (KSA).

After losing the case of Nizam of Hyderabad in London, Pakistan would pay the legal cost of the case through the “welfare fund” of Pakistanis deposited in the accounts of Pakistani missions in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, diplomatic sources informed The News. Last year, the UK High Court which had not only ruled against Pakistan in a decades old legal dispute over funds belonging to the Nizam of Hyderabad at the time of partition and deposited in a London bank account, but also ordered Pakistan to pay nearly £6 million (Rs1.21 billion) in legal costs.

Well-informed sources revealed that Pakistan’s foreign office in Islamabad sent a letter to three of its missions to send their “social and welfare fund” to London to pay the legal cost of the recently lost case. A joint letter has been sent to the Pakistan Embassy in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai to freeze the social and welfare funds and make arrangements to transfer the amount to the foreign office, sources confirmed The News.

With the result, the Pakistanis living in Dubai and KSA will also have to pay “social and welfare fund” for acquisition and renewal of their passports, national identity cards and other documents in diplomatic mission. The fund available with the foreign missions is exclusively meant to address the problems of the overseas Pakistanis embroiled in some sort of distress or hardship. However, this time the government has explored a unique way to use the welfare money. And the fall out has already begun, recently, many deserving Pakistanis approached the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai for addressing their problems but they could not be entertained due to the shortage of welfare funds. One senior diplomat informed The News that the Consulate is now running short of welfare funds so the complainants were advised to contact Pakistan's businessmen in Dubai to raise money.

Senior diplomat who had previously been deputed in the Pakistani mission in the UAE also confirmed that a letter was sent from the Foreign Office a few days ago to pay the litigation money as soon as possible.

Reportedly the foreign office made the move after the issue came under discussion at a meeting of the federal cabinet, where it was suggested to use the social and welfare funds available for diplomatic missions specially in Middle Eastern countries. Senior diplomats say that Pakistanis' social and welfare funds are exclusively meant for disbursal for the welfare of Pakistanis living in other countries, but in violation of rules that money will now be spent to address other issues.

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