Tuesday, February 20, 2024

SC adjourns presidential reference related to Rekodiq Agreement

SC adjourns presidential reference related to Rekodiq Agreement
November 22, 2022 Web Desk

ISLAMABAD (APP) - The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing of the presidential reference on the Rekodiq Agreement till Wednesday.

A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ejazul Ahsan, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, and Justice Jamaal Khan Mandokhel heard the presidential reference filed in the case.

The President on the advice of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had filed the reference to seek the top court’s opinion on the Rekodiq settlement agreement.

During the proceedings, Makhdoom Ali Khan, counsel for Barrack Gold Company, argued that provincial governments could enter into international trade ventures but could not enter into state-level agreements.

The Chief Justice said that the federal government was also a participant in the Rekodiq project, so there was no issue of the provincial government’s permission to invest.

Makhdoom Ali Khan said that Barrack Gold wanted the court’s opinion to avoid legal complications like the previous Rekodiq project as the risk of Pakistan going into default was increasing. He argued that the Rekodiq deal was the largest investment in Pakistan’s history at $4.297 billion.

On this, the Chief Justice asked whether Barrack Gold was also monitoring the economic situation of Pakistan. It would be better to tell the court about the transparency of the Rekodiq agreement instead of intimidating it, he added.

Makhdoom Ali Khan said that Barrack Gold was not in the business of bailing out countries from bankruptcy. If the Rekodiq agreement was reached till December 15, Pakistan’s $9 billion fine would be waived, he added.

He said that after the agreement, the expected fine of the International Criminal Court would also be removed and the extracted gold and copper deposits would be sent abroad through the port.

He said that Barrack Gold would build an underground pipeline from Rekodiq to the port in Balochistan. He said that the company would also work on roads and community development in Balochistan. He said that the project would provide 7000 jobs in Balochistan first and 4000 jobs in the long term.