The Supreme Court has raised the question of whether the Reko Diq project was environment-friendly or not.
A five-judge larger bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, was hearing a presidential reference on the project.
During the hearing held last week, Justice Ijazul Ahsan had remarked that it was told that the minerals coming out of Reko Diq would reach the port through a water pipeline.
“The facility of water in Balochistan is limited. Where will the water come from in the province for the Reko Diq project?” he inquired.
The court questioned if was considered how much water would be wasted in the Reko Diq project every day.
It hoped that the Reko Diq project agreement would be eco-friendly.
It inquired about what measures had been taken in the project's agreement to protect the environment.
Additional Attorney General (AAG) Aamir Rehman replied that there were abundant water reserves at the site of the Reko Diq project.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan noted that the construction of cement plants in Potohar had created a water shortage in the entire region.
He added that Balochistan received fewer rains and a water security problem might arise.
On one occasion, the CJP took up the issue of labour rights in the project.
He inquired about the steps taken to protect the rights of workers at the Reko Diq project.
Balochistan High Court Bar representative Amanullah Kanrani informed the court that Pakistan had prepared mining laws in 2010 and they should be implemented.
The CJP told him that the court was looking into the legal questions raised in the reference.
Kanrani replied that the court should also look at the other aspects of the project apart from the “fixed match” between the government and the company.
CJP Bandial told him that the country had only one aspect to look forward to and that was to tread cautiously.
“The court will protect the rights of the people under the law,” he added.
Later, the court adjourned further hearing of the reference till November 28.
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