Form CPEC-like authority, new policy for Reko Diq project: Supreme Court

Tribal elders express support for Reko Diq project
<p>An image of Reko Diq in Balochistan. Photo: SAMAA/file</p>

An image of Reko Diq in Balochistan. Photo: SAMAA/file

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday suggested the federal government form a special policy and a body such as the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) Authority for the Reko Diq project.

The apex court added that introducing a uniform policy for all international investors in the project would help bring transparency and also make it easier for the Supreme Court to make a decision.

These observations were made on Thursday as a five-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Atta Bandial took up a Presidential reference on the Reko Diq case.

During the hearing, the court remarked that relief could be made part of the new policy, referring to the earlier verdict of the court in which it had declared the government’s policy null and void due to its softness for just one company.

Additional Attorney General (AAG) Amir Rehman told the apex court about the $10 billion investment in the Reko Diq Project, adding that it would elevate the confidence of foreign investors and open doors for foreign investment in Pakistan.

CJP Bandial asked the AAG to enlighten the court about the government’s desire to legislate to benefit a single company.

Additionally, the CJP observed that the court had repeatedly been told that if it did not come to a decision on the Reko Diq reference by December 15, then the country could be burdened with a loss of $10 billion.

AAG Rehman replied that his purpose was not to frighten the court with the consequences, rather to inform that if a penalty worth $10 billion is imposed, Pakistan would have to bear the loss.

The apex court was then informed about the equal share of the Balochistan government in the Reko Diq Project.

“The government of Balochistan is not a solid authority,” Justice Bandial remarked. He also raised the question on who would monitor the Reko Diq agreement and the whole project after its execution.

CJP Bandial suggested forming an oversight body the likes of the CPEC authority.

He also warned AAG Rehman that “the rights of the people residing nearby the Reko Diq areas should not be compromised.”

Tribal stakeholders back Reko Diq accord

Separately, tribal stakeholders from the Chaghi District of Balochistan threw their support behind the Reko Diq agreement with Canadian firm Barrick Gold.

In a press conference outside the Quetta Press Club, tribal elders vowed to support the company.

“The project will bring prosperity across the country,” they said, adding they will provide security to the company that has extensive experience of digging gold.

The stakeholders will soon issue the notification for their support.

Supreme Court


reko diq

federal government


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