Reko Diq Reference: CJP Bandial raises questions over transparency of project
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Tuesday raised questions over the transparency of the Reko Diq project as he heard a presidential reference in the case.
During Tuesday’s hearing at the Supreme Court, a five-member bench led by CJP Bandial chided the counsel of Canadian company Barrick Gold Corporation in response to his analysis of the economy of Pakistan and directed him to inform the apex court regarding the transparency of the Redo Diq project.
During the hearing, the company’s counsel contended that a “penalty of $9 billion on Pakistan will be waived off if Pakistan signs on the Reko Diq Project with the company.”
“The provincial governments have the power to sign trade agreements with foreign investors and become part of the projects, yet they are not authorized to sign state-level agreements,” argued Counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan.
“In the Reko Diq project Pakistan is going to do historic investment of $4 billion.”
Responding to the arguments, the CJP Umar Ata Bandial remarked, “Has the company been monitoring the economic progress of Pakistan?”
CJP Bandial continued, “Don’t tell us about the economic failures and their consequences.”
READ: Form CPEC-like authority, new policy for Reko Diq project: Supreme Court
Makhdoom told the court about how the gold and copper treasures extracted would be transported to foreign countries.
The court adjourned the hearing of the Reko Diq case till November 23.
Tribal stakeholders back Reko Diq accord
Earlier, tribal stakeholders from the Chaghi District of Balochistan threw their support behind the Reko Diq agreement with Canadian firm Barrick Gold.
“The project will bring prosperity across the country,” they said, adding they will provide security to the company that has extensive experience of digging gold.