Reko Diq: Advisory body should be created to oversee agreement, CJP’s observation
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During the hearing of the Presidential Reference on the Reko Diq agreement in the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday, the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) gave an observation that an advisory body should be created to oversee all the aspects of the agreement.
According to the 24News HD TV channel, a five-member larger bench headed by the CJP heard the reference.
During the hearing of the reference, the additional attorney general (AAG) said if the issue of relaxing the rules for the international company had been mentioned in the previous Reko Diq agreement, the court would not have declared it null and void.
On this, Justice Muneeb Akhtar said Reko Diq and other mining rules are the authority of the provincial government, Is the federation authorized to amend provincial laws?
The CJP asked that did the Balochistan government also relax the mining rules for international investors. On which the AAG told the court that the Balochistan government relaxed the rules for the previous agreement.
The CJP said an advisory body should be created to oversee all aspects of the agreement. He further said that the federal government is investing one billion rupees in the Reko Diq project and the powers have been handed over to the Balochistan government.
The AAG assured the court that every matter related to the Reko Diq project will be dealt with due diligence and transparency, but the CJP said the state of transparency in this country is that some files in the cabinet are approved without opening.
Justice Yahya Afridi said international agreements are the authority of the federation, can the provincial government interfere in them?
The CJP said in the 2013 decision of the SC, there is no mention of the corruption of the international company anywhere, adding that the international company had taken advantage of the fact that the Balochistan government did not have the capacity to refine gold.
The CJP said the SC had said that Afghanistan signed international agreements on better terms than Pakistan even during the days of unrest in the country.
Balochistan Bar representative lawyer Amanullah Khan Kanrani said the court should also take into consideration how much benefit of the gold coming out of Reko Diq mines goes to Pakistan, adding that Balochistan has not got anything from this agreement till date as the Barrack Gold company has its worldwide monopoly.
The CJP said the fine of 10 billion is not a matter of any provincial body, it is against the country while Justice Muneeb Akhtar said the penalty imposed on Pakistan by the International Court of Justice is a nuclear bomb that can affect Pakistan from any part of the world.
Later, the hearing of the Presidential Reference on the Reko Diq agreement was adjourned till Monday, November 07, 2022.