PM orders to form commission to probe massive Reko Diq case
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday ordered to form a commission to investigate and fix responsibility for the massive loss borne by Pakistan in the Reko Diq case.
According to the sources, the prime minister directives were communicated by the attorney general’s office on Sunday.
According to the statement issued by attorney general, it said that the premier has directed that a commission be constituted to investigate reasons as to how Pakistan ended up in this predicament, who was responsible for making the country suffer such a loss and what are the lessons learnt, so that mistakes made are not repeated in the future.
A thorough internal review of this long-standing arbitration shall also be conducted in the due course, it added.
“The government of Pakistan notes with disappointment the Award by a Tribunal of International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) in the matter of Tethyan Copper Company
(“TCC”) vs. Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The Tribunal has rendered an award of US$ 4.08 billion in favour of TCC against their claim of US$ 8.5 billion,” read the statement.
“This [attorney general’s] office and other stakeholders, particularly the provincial government of Balochistan, are studying the Award and reflecting upon its financial and legal implications”.
The July 13 statement said the Pakistani government shall consult with the provincial government involved to devise a strategy for the future. “For now, the government of Pakistan reserves its right to pursue any and all legal remedies available to it under the ICSID regime, international law and all other relevant laws to safeguard its interests,” the statement read.
“International Tribunals are also urged to consider the implications of their decisions and the impact on development and poverty alleviation,” the statement said.
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.
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.”