SC prohibits Reko Diq mining lease until verdict

1
54

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Thursday restrained the Balochistan government from awarding the mining contract of Reko Diq reserves to any national or foreign company until a final decision of the case.
A four-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Muhammad Sair Ali, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday was hearing petitions against the leasing of Reko Diq gold and copper reserves in Balochistan that are worth over $260 billion to foreign exploration companies in violation of law.
After hearing the arguments, the court in its short order held that the Balochistan government through its competent authority may postpone its decision of granting mining lease or otherwise to the companies, claimants of holders of EL-5 to wait for the final decision on the petitions against the lease of Reko Diq mines.
Khalid Anwar, lawyer for Tethyan Copper Company (TCC), told the court that as far as the parties interested in obtaining the mining lease were concerned, they only had to submit an application to the Balochistan government before February 19, 2011. The court asked the Balochistan government to conditionally allow the company to submit the application, subject to a final decision of the court in the Reko Diq case.
The lawyer said it was up to the Balochistan government through its competent authority to take the decision to consider the request or whatever position may be, thus he and other lawyers had no objection if an order was passed to the effect that the government of Balochistan may postpone the decision on the application.
Balochistan Advocate General Dr Salahuddin Mengal told the court that he was instructed by the provincial government to make a statement that so far it had not received any application for the grant of mining lease from any of the companies.
However, it would not dispose the application, if submitted until the decision of the Reko Diq case. In his arguments, lawyer for one of the applicants, Barrister Zafarullah Khan, said the lease of Reko Diq reserves to foreign companies was an attempt to loot Pakistan ‘s wealth, adding that the contract was against the state’s interest. He said Dr Samar Mubarakmand had already stated that Pakistan had the expertise to explore one of the world’s biggest gold and copper treasures in Balochistan at Reko Diq.

1 COMMENT

  1. Give us a break. Let us do something right based on logic and reason. Get started with the mining for Pakistan's case. Other "brilliant" ideas can be pursued separately.

Comments are closed.