SC to hear Presidential Reference on Reko Diq on Oct 25
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday fixed a presidential reference hearing on the Reko Diq project on October 25.
According to the 24News HD TV channel, a five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial will hold the hearing of the Presidential Reference.
The five-member larger bench includes Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial, Justice Ijaz ul Hasan, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Jamal Khan Mandukhel.
Yesterday, on the advice of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Arif Alvi filed a Reko Diq reference in the Supreme Court (SC) in which an opinion was sought from the apex court on the settlement agreement signed by the Government of Pakistan with an international mining company to dig out copper and gold reserves in the area.
The federal government had a few days ago approved contents of the reference.
Earlier, the federal cabinet had approved sending a presidential reference on the Reko Diq case to the Supreme Court.
In March 2022, the-then finance minister Shaukat Tarin had announced that an agreement for the development of the Reko Diq mine had been reached with a foreign company Barrick Gold, according to which Balochistan would have a 25 per cent share.
Pakistan and Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) had agreed to divide shares with each side getting 50 per cent of them, contrary to 25 per cent shares for Pakistan in the previous deal.
In 2019, Pakistan had managed to get a reduced penalty from a massive $16 billion to $6 billion in the Reko Diq case. In a 700-page ruling, the Washington-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) had awarded a $4.08 billion penalty and $1.87 billion in interest to Pakistan. The amount will be paid to TCC.
The firm had been granted a licence for gold and copper mining at Reko Diq, area of Balochistan, but the former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry had cancelled the agreement with the company.