Kohinoor, a star of London’s Crown Jewels, is an Indian gem that has a bloody history of colonial conquest. The Kohinoor (“Mountain of Light”), presently part of the British Crown Jewels, has witnessed the birth and the fall of empires across the Indian subcontinent and remains the subject of a bitter ownership battle between Britain and India. Today the precious stone, which historians say was probably first discovered in India during the reign of the Mughal dynasty, is on public display in the Tower of London, part of the crown of the late Queen Mother.
The first record of the Kohinoor dates back to around 1750, following Persian ruler Nader Shah’s invasion of the Mughal capital Delhi. The diamond itself was not particularly renowned at the time – the Mughals preferred colored stones such as rubies to clear gems. India has tried in vain to get the stone back since winning independence in 1947, and the subject is frequently brought up when officials from the two countries meet. Iran, Pakistan, and even the Afghan Taliban have also claimed the Kohinoor in the past, making it a political hot potato for the British government.
The legitimate owner of the Kohinoor diamond is still unknown but Pakistan is again striving to claim its rights. Barrister Javed Iqbal had earlier filed the petition seeking directives for the federal government to take measures to bring back the diamond to Pakistan. He alleged that the British had snatched the diamond from Dalip Singh and took it to the United Kingdom.
He said the diamond become part of the crown of Queen Elizabeth-II at the time of her crowning in 1953. He added that Queen Elizabeth had no right to have the Kohinoor diamond as it was the cultural heritage of Punjab. Justice Shahid Waheed of the Lahore High Court heard the miscellaneous application filed by Barrister Javed Iqbal and directed the court office to fix the petition for hearing at the earliest.
(For Further Study: The True Story of the Koh-i-Noor Diamond—And Why the British Won’t Give It Back | History | Smithsonian Magazine, World-famous ‘Koh-i-Noor’ inspires new and bloody history - ARY NEWS, Koh-i-Noor diamond: LHC accepts plea for early hearing)