Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Asim Bajwa terms stay order on Reko Diq case as great relief for Pakistan

September 18, 2020

ISLAMABAD (92 News) - China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority Chairman Lieutenant general retired Asim Saleem Bajwa has termed the stay order by World Bank tribunal on $6bn award against Pakistan as a ‘great relief’. In his tweet, the CPEC chairman mentioned that the stay order granted by the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in the Reko Diq case was a great relief for the country. Prime Minister Imran Khan fully support the government of Balochistan to develop the mining sector. The reforms in the sector will increase foreign investment and human resources, Asim Bajwa said. Reko Diq:Stay order by World Bank tribunal on $ 6 Bn award vs Pakistan is great relief.Meanwhile PM directs to fully support GOB for accelerated dev of mineral sec in a transparent manner,structured system, best tech,involve local investors,develop own HR #PakistanMovingForward — Asim Saleem Bajwa (@AsimSBajwa) September 18, 2020 Earlier, the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes has granted stay on the enforcement of penalty imposed on Pakistan in the Reko Diq mining lease dispute. In a statement in Islamabad, the office of Attorney General for Pakistan described the development as a success for the country and its legal team. In July last year, an international arbitration tribunal of the ICSID had slapped nearly six billion dollars penalty on Pakistan for denying a mining lease to an Australian company. Earlier, a World Bank arbitration court has ordered the Pakistani government pay damages of $5.8 billion to Tethyan Copper, a joint venture between Chile’s Antofagasta Plc (ANTO.L) and Canada’s Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), the Chilean miner said late on Friday. Tethyan Copper discovered vast mineral wealth more than a decade ago in Reko Diq, at the foot of an extinct volcano near Pakistan’s frontier with Iran and Afghanistan. The deposit was set to rank among the world’s biggest untapped copper and gold mines. The company said it had invested more than $220 million by the time Pakistan’s government, in 2011, unexpectedly refused to grant them the mining lease needed to keep operating. The World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ruled against Pakistan in 2017, but until now had yet to determine the damages owed to Tethyan. Tethyan board chair William Hayes said in a statement the company was still “willing to strike a deal with Pakistan,” but added that “it would continue protecting its commercial and legal interests until the dispute was over.” The Reko Diq mine has become a test case for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ability to attract serious foreign investment to Pakistan as it struggles to stave off an economic crisis that has forced it to seek an International Monetary Fund bailout.

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