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Reko Diq case: deal annulment to hurt investment prospects, counsel tells Supreme Court




  • Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Wednesday observed that the law did not permit any undue favour to any company. A three-member bench headed by the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed the hearing of identical petitions against leasing of Reko Diq gold and copper mines in Balochistan to foreign exploration and mining companies. 

    The bench reiterated its stance that the court would examine whether or not the agreement between the government of Pakistan and the foreign companies was initialled strictly in accordance with law. Justice Gulzar Ahmed, a member of the bench, observed that Tethyan Copper Company was perhaps given extraordinary relaxation in the matter. 

    The Chief Justice asked Khalid Anwar, the counsel for TCCP, to satisfy the court that there was no violation of law in relation to the contract. Resuming his argument on the third day of the hearing, Anwar contended that no foreign company would come to Pakistan for investment if mining license to TCCP was revoked. 

    He said in case the contract was terminated it would be difficult to the government to carry on mining operations, adding that the state would suffer a greater loss. Anwar further submitted that rules for mining in Balochistan were the same as in other provinces. Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed observed that before the launch of any project, one had to submit a feasibility report. However, he said that TCCP was not ready to submit its feasibility report. 

    Anwar submitted that the relaxations given to BHP and TCCP were transparent and in accordance with the law, adding that these relaxations should not be construed as anti-public interest steps. Meanwhile, the court observed that the case would be decided as per law and adjourned the hearing till November 22 (today). 

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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