The Supreme Court sought on Thursday replies from all respondents in the Reko Diq case and decided to conduct a daily hearing, starting from February 11.
Raza Kazim, the counsel for Abdul Haq Baloch, one of the petitioners, submitted a copy of the 101-page agreement reached between the government and the TCC to the three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
Pakistan is likely to incur huge losses if the government signs the 30-year agreement with the company in February, he informed the bench. The DG Minerals, ministry of petroleum, has already signed the contract in acceptance of the company’s terms and conditions. Members of the federal and provincial governments have yet to sign the agreement.
The new agreement is to be renewed by the government on expiry of the previous contract on February 11. The project manager of TCC informed the court that his company plans to invest another $3.5 million whereas $460 million have already been invested in Reko Diq.
He apprised the court that his company is paying 25 per cent of the net profit to the government of Balochistan. He termed the copy presented to the bench by Kazim a forgery.
The agreement is a renewal of the previous one and in conformity with the mining rules of Balochistan. He said the terms of the agreement are not being kept secret.
Kazim contended that according to the 18th amendment, Balochistan enjoys sole rights over its natural resources, the federation is, therefore, interfering in the matter. He said he has yet to be provided the copy of the federation’s response.
The court has adjourned till January 17.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2011.