Reko Diq

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As a common Pakistani I see the exploration of the Reko Diq copper and gold mines as a blessing of God for my poor nation and a ray of hope in these troubled times when the political and economic conditions are the worst in the countrys history.

However, I feel upset that a certain lobby is trying hard to shoo away the foreign company that has invested so much time, money and labour to explore this gift of God and has rekindled hope in us that we and our generations can have a better future in this country.

Reading an interview of Ameena Saiyed, the OICCI chief in Pakistan, published in a section of the press on 07 January, I was depressed to know that our country is no more on the radar of international foreign investors. This is the result of the inconsistent policies of our successive governments and the planners who are sitting at the helm of affairs in Islamabad.

One cannot deny the fact that the countrys interest should be kept foremost while signing agreements with the foreign investors and from what I have understood about the project, more than half of the pre-tax earnings from Reko Diq will go to Pakistan.

In another article in written by Yaqoob Bizenjo on 07 January in a leading Urdu newspaper, a former managing director of Saindak Copper and Gold project, this fact has been endorsed by the experiences detailed by the writer in execution of the project.

He has lamented that our country cannot even produce a 2.2KV generator so how on earth we can develop the technology and machinery required for projects like Reko Diq and Saindak. This deplorable mindset has already inflicted considerable loss to Saindak and we are yet to reap full benefits of that great natural resource.

We should realise that the technology and investment needed to extract gold, copper and other metals and minerals from the ores of Reko Diq is not a doable task indigenously.

Reko Diq might face a similar fate if we ask Tethyan Coppers Company (TCC) the firm that has done more than 230 million dollars of risk investment to explore Reko Diqs mineral resources to pack up their bags and leave the country taking the money that they have invested so far.

It is the people of Pakistan, their generations and their future which will be at loss if such an unfortunate decision is taken. The planners in Islamabad who send their children to live abroad and settle there forever have done enough damage to us and they must be held accountable.

Also, I would like to request the government that the expertise of nuclear scientists like Dr Samar Mubarakmand can best be utilised for solving the electricity crisis that has crippled the whole nation and its economy and they should be asked to develop cheap and clean nuclear power plants in the country or at least overhaul the ailing KANNUP nuclear power plant in Karachi that has to be shut down every other week due to technical troubles. Mining is totally a different ball game!

NAUFIL SHAHRUKH

Karachi