Friday, 28 January 2011

Reko Diq case: Ramday says foreign companies given contracts like gifts in 93

Read on Pakistan Cyber Force Facebook Page

Today, Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday of Supreme Court of Pakistan suspected the mental health of those who awarded mining contract to a foreign companies like a gift in 1993. He observed this while hearing a number of petitions challenging the award of the contract to the TCC – a Canadian consortium of Barrick Gold and Antofagasta Minerals – for exploring gold and copper in Reko Diq, a small desert town in Chagai district of Balochistan. Four-member bench hearing the case comprised Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Mohammad Sair Ali, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan

Advocate General Balochistan Salahuddin Mengal presented before the court details of the mining licenses awarded to the foreign companies, saying that of the 10 licenses 8 were surrendered in 1998. He further told the court that the first license was given in 1993 with the approval of the Governor. On that the court observed that Governor has no authority to award such contracts. Mengal asked the court to order investigation about the officials involved in the abovesaid process, and added that the companies earn $60 million profit but had not given anything to Balochistan government. In 2006, Barrick Gold and Antofagasta Minerals companies bought shares of BHP Company while the exploration license of TCC is going to be expired in February, the court was told. Deploring the whole process, Justice Ramday maintained, “I suspect the mental health of all the officials who awarded licenses to the foreign companies in 1993 like gifts in a basket”. The case was deferred till January 31.

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