‘Governor signed Reko Diq accord without cabinet’s consent’

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Balochistan Advocate-General Amanullah Kanrani told the Supreme Court on Monday that the Reko Diq agreement was signed by the provincial governor without the Balochistan cabinet’s approval.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed hearing in the case against the federal government’s decision to lease out Reko Diq gold and copper reserves in Balochistan to foreign companies.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar directed the Balochistan government to provide evidence with respect to its stance, adding that whosoever violated the law would have to pay for the wrongdoing.
Kanrani concluded his arguments in the case, saying the law did not allow the awarding of mining lease to TCC.
The chief justice reprimanded the advocate general, saying he had been reviewing documents for the last three days and should not waste time unnecessarily by shifting responsibility on the courts. Kanrani reiterated that the Balochistan governor signed the agreement without the provincial cabinet’s approval, adding that Barrick Gold and Antofagasta Minerals became part of the agreement without a real reason.
Kanrani said Barrick Gold bought the file of the agreement in $60 million whereas Antofagasta Minerals paid $140 million for the agreement’s file. Moreover, Ahmer Bilal Sufi, counsel for the Balochistan government, began his arguments, saying no land had been specifically allotted in the Reko Diq agreement. To this, Justice Gulzar inquired whether Soofi was claiming that the agreement was bogus. In his remarks, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said the agreement, in its spirit, did not ratify a mining licence but simply agreed to the filing of a request for that purpose.