Why were rules relaxed in Reko Diq lease, asks CJP


ISLAMABAD – Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Thursday observed that there was no need to make new rules to facilitate the companies involved in the Reko Diq project when rules of mining and exploration were already in place.
The CJP said this while heading a three-member bench, which also includes Justice Muhammad Sair Ali and Justice Ghulam Rabbani, which was hearing the case against the lease of Reko Diq gold and copper reserves to Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) in violation of rules.
Resuming his arguments, lawyer for TCC Khalid Anwar submitted that BHP company sold its exploration license for $100 and put a condition to the other company to find out something concrete in the reserves within six months, offering the company to then form into an alliance and be a partner in investment and profit.
The CJP observed that after “10 years and, according to you, investing millions of dollars, they sell the license only for $ 100? Do you people think Pakistanis are stupid and will believe all this? You cannot even buy a nice shirt from Marks and Spencer for $100”.
Anwar said the new company was to invest $3 million within six months and $100 was just a consideration in the agreement. He said BHP was exhausted with investing in the project and did not wish to invest any further, so they invited an Australian Company and gave them the rights to explore for the next six months, offering the new company to come into a joint venture if they found anything substantial in the reserves.
The chief justice said in that case, everything was based on “feeling and nothing concrete had come in front of the court”. He asked Khalid Anwar to provide the terms of the alliance and or joint venture. Appearing on notice, Balochistan Advocate General Amanullah Kanrani objected to the TCC lawyer, saying the relaxation was against the rules and never been approved by the Balochistan chief minister.
Anwar said that summary of the joint venture was produced to then chief minister and was duly approved by him and the Balochistan government issued a notification after the approval. “Now only verbal objections are being raised,” he said. Later, the court adjourned proceedings for today (Friday), directing Khalid Anwar to conclude his arguments at the earliest.


  1. The above remarks of Supreme Court of Pakistan had made me upset to think that how weakly the case was defended in Supreme Court. Please see my timely comments below, before the final decision of Court came.

    (T.C.C. was given license only for geological estimation of Reko-Diq copper-gold reserves which has been completed. While they do not have mining and ore processing rights for which they insisted in the Supreme Court).

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