Months after the Pakistan government unveiled a new political map that included Junagadh, the ‘Dewan of Junagadh’ — whose family had fled to Karachi after an abortive accession to Pakistan in 1947 — has started an online campaign to legally claim Junagadh in all international forums and make it a part of Pakistan.
Ahmed Ali, the great-grandson of Nawab Mahabat Khan, who had signed an agreement of accession to Pakistan in October 1947, was anointed the ‘Wazir-e-Azam’ (Dewan) of Junagadh by his father Jehangir Khan in an official reconciliation ceremony on December 10.
Ali who is the chairman of Muslim institute in Pakistan, has started a campaign 'Junagadh is Pakistan' to legally claim it. In a video, he has claimed to have made international representation to liberate Junagadh and make it a part of Pakistan. Ali, who has 11,000 followers on Twitter, claims, “‘Junagadh in Pakistan’ is not just a slogan but a mission to which I am ready to devote my life.”
Criticising this, Junagadh MLA Bhikhabhai Joshi said, “Ali does not even have the guts to come to Junagadh. Sitting in Pakistan, he has declared himself as prime minister of a place that is an inseparable part of India. It is a rosy dream that will never come true.”
The Nawab’s family member Shehnaz Babi, who currently stays in Jetpur, says, “Whatever he is doing is just insane. It can never be possible.” Shehnaz who is a daughter as well as daughter-in-law of the Nawab’s Babi family says, “We ruled over 999 towns which was merged with independent India. The Nawab and his immediate family went to Pakistan, never to return. Junagadh is a part of India and can never be a part of Pakistan.”
Nischal Sanghavi email@example.com
Saman Khan contributed to this story