WRITTEN BYYumna Mahmood
The rare diamond of Koh-i-Noor which is also referred as the “Mountain of Light” was once known as the largest gem on the earth with weight of 793 carats, its past goes back into more than 5000 years adding historic significance to it, in the first place this idolized gem came from Kakatiya Dynasty and was said to be the eye of Hindu Goddess who enthroned it in her temple. Later travelling from number of dynasties to Mughal empires and kings, its owner changed back to back. Presently, British royal family holds Koh-i-Noor.
Over the past several years India claims to be the owner of Koh-i-Noor and even insisted for its return when Queen Elizabeth paid her visit to India in 1997, India believes that because the stone was the property of several Indian Kings and Mughal Emperors they exclusively have the right to keep it. Furthermore, lately an attorney Javed Iqbal Jaffery from Pakistan also filled his petition in Lahore High court claiming that UK actually stole the diamond from the Grandson of the Maharaja of Lahore, Ranjit Singh, he also wrote 786 letters to Pakistan’s officials and Queen Elizabeth from time to time to bring Kooh-i-Noor back to Pakistan.
He said “The diamond became part of the crown of incumbent Queen Elizabeth-II at the time of her crowning in 1953. Queen Elizabeth has no right on the Kohinoor diamond, which weighs 105 carats and worth billions of rupees, Kohinoor diamond was cultural heritage of Punjab province and its citizens owned it in fact”
Studying the history of Kooh-i-Noor, it proceeded to several dynasties till 1526 when Baber invaded India by establishing Mughal Empire, he seized this masterpiece and titled it as “Diamond of Baber”, it was in the ownership of Mughal Empire for numerous years. Later, Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb took it to Badshahi Mosque Lahore, by then its weight was cut to 186 carats by a Venetian Lapidary, Hortenso Borgia. In 1739, after the seizure of Persian Empire Nader Shah, he looted some real prized stuff, When Nader first caught a glimpse of this lightning stone he said “Koh-i-Noor” which later became its eternal name, Shah took it back to Persia in 1739, one of his consorts said that:
“If a strong man should take five stones, and throw one north, one south, one east, and one west, and the last straight up into the air, and the space between filled with gold and gems, that would equal the value of the Koh-i-Noor.”
After the collapse of his government, Kooh-i-noor came in the hands of his General Shuja Shah Durrani who surrendered it to Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore by trading off his help to win Afghan throne back, later when Ranjit Singh departed this life, British in 1849 invaded Punjab and collected Kooh-i-Noor to grant it to the Queen Victoria in 1851. Kooh-i-Noor whose current weight is 105.602 carats is now an exceptional piece of Crown of Elizabeth and put on show at the tower of London.
From getting the picture of Koh-i-Noor’s antiquity, it depicts that it belongs from no peculiar owner with no undoubted reason that it should be returned to India. Moreover, the looted valuable stuff of wars in ancient times had never returned back to its previous possessors. Yet if India demands Koh-i-Noor, then Persians and Pakistanis also have equal right to ask it back, being its owners for several years. However, because formerly it belonged to Maharaja Ranjit Singh therefore if British Government decides to return it, then they should consider to offer it to its former proprietor Pakistan from where they got their hands on it.
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