- “The court did not have expertise in financial matters. The questions asked in the reference are very broad, clarify them,” says CJP.
- CJP Bandial says that the questions asked in the reference are very broad and directs to clarify them.
- The top court directs the additional attorney general to propose names of judicial assistants in the case and adjourned the hearing.
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial Tuesday remarked that it was not the job of the apex court to give an opinion on agreements like the Reko Diq deal.
CJP Bandial issued the remarks during the hearing of a presidential reference seeking the top court’s opinion on the Reko Diq settlement agreement.
During the course of the proceedings, CJP Bandial said that the Reko Diq agreement would have been signed under different conditions if Pakistan had resources.
“The court did not have expertise in financial matters. The questions asked in the reference are very broad, so clarify them,” the CJP ordered.
In response, the Additional Attorney-General Aamir Rehman presented the details of deals and agreements relating to the Reko Diq case.
The Balochistan government signed a Chagai Hills Exploration Joint Venture Agreement in 1993. In 2,000, the Tethyan Copper Company made an investment of $240 million, he informed the court, adding that in 2006, a petition was filed in the Balochistan High Court against the gold mining agreement. However, it was dismissed.
The Supreme Court declared the Chagai Hills Exploration Joint Venture Agreement “illegal” in 2013. After that, the Tethyan Copper Company approached the international court in light of the Supreme Court’s decision.
After this, the international courts imposed a fine on Pakistan which is over $9 billion, said Rehman.
“Why is Barrick Gold getting 50% of the share and who actually owns Reko Diq?” questioned Justice Jamaal Khan Mandokhel.
At this, the attorney-general said that Balochistan was getting 25% of the share while the federal government is paying for it. He said that the Reko Diq agreement will make a profit of $104 billion and the federal and Balochistan governments will get a 62% profit from the deal.
Aamir said that the Tethyan Copper Company needs assurance for a big investment, and in case the court does not allow it, Pakistan will have to give $9 billion.
“Where will Pakistan pay $9 billion from?” questioned Justice Ijazul Ahsan. At this, Aamir said that there will be no international investments in Pakistan if the country has to pay $9 billion.
At this, CJP Bandial said that the court’s verdict cannot be examined again.
Justice Mandokhel, on the other hand, said if the minerals of Balochistan are utilised properly, they are enough for the entire country. “The old agreement pertaining to Reko Diq was struck in a very irresponsible manner.”
Meanwhile, the court directed the additional attorney general to propose names of judicial assistants in the case and adjourned the hearing.