ISLAMABAD.: Pakistan’s top legal officials are in the United States to chalk out a strategy against the massive penalty of $5.976 billion imposed by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Pakistan in the Reko Diq case and also take up the issue of the Indus Water Treaty.
Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem will discuss the ICSID penalty with a legal firm in Washington.
Pakistan is working on multiple approaches to deal with the massive penalty. A US-based legal firm, GST, has already been hired to file a review.
The same firm will defend Pakistan in a US district court where the complainant, Tethyan Copper Company (TCC), has filed an application regarding the enforcement of award.
It is learnt that there will be no out-of-court settlement talks in the US next week.
Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Anwar Mansoor Khan, who is also in the US, will discuss the issue of the Indus Water Treaty with World Bank officials.
He recently met a few officials requesting them to lift the stay on the establishment of a court of arbitration on the construction of Kishanganga dam by India. Pakistan had requested the establishment of the court in 2016 but bank did not entertain its plea.
The AGP will also assist Prime Minister Imran Khan in his upcoming speech on the issue of Kashmir at the UN General Assembly.
Different options are being considered as to how the issue could be raised at different forums.
It has been learnt that the government is seeking opinions on how the issue could be raised with International Court of Justice (ICT).
Legal experts have urged the Pakistani government to seek a vote at the upcoming session of UN General Assembly on Kashmir for referring the matter to the ICJ in its advisory capacity.
“The prime minister in his address to the UNGA should push for referring the Kashmir dispute to ICJ,” said renowned lawyer Akram Sheikh.
“Pakistan should move a resolution before the UNGA for referring the matter to the ICJ and it won’t be very difficult to bag 51% votes for having it passed,” he added.
However, one section of lawyers believes that it would be difficult for Pakistan to bag 51% votes at the UNGA.
A senior official in the law ministry believes that the chances of knocking the doors of the ICJ on the Kashmir issue were slim. He added that one international firm was working on this aspect.
Another lawyer, Barrister Taimur Malik said the prime minister was likely to highlight legal points in his speech on Kashmir, including the previous UN resolutions. He added that it was unlikely that Pakistan would push for a new resolution on Kashmir at this stage.