Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Reko Diq - Government’s criminal silence annoys CJ

Tethyan Copper Company Pakistan (TCCP) was issued show cause notice for giving advertisements in the national newspapers of the country pertaining to Reko Diq project. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was hearing the case relating to exploration of gold and copper from Reko Diq. The Reko Diq project, located in Chaghi district of Balochistan, is being developed by the Tethyan Copper Company Pakistan (TCCP), jointly owned by Barrick Gold Corporation, Canada, and Antofagasta, Chile.

Reko Diq Gold & Copper mine, Chaghi

Barrister Zafarullah while representing Watan Party, which has also filed a petition against the project, prayed the court that the matter was sub judice in the court and the TCCP gave advertisements in the newspapers regarding the project. He requested the court to issue them contempt of court notice. The court while issuing the notice sought reply from the TCCP on January 19. Justice Ramday stated that the courts could not influenced by the advertisements. In the next date the TCCP would give presentation to the court. The Chief Justice, however, expressed concern over non-submission of the replies by the respondents. He remarked that an important case was going on and the whole world was watching it with great interest, but the respondents had not filed the replies yet.

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry

Raza Kazim on Monday again reiterated his stance that the joint venture mining agreement was not provided to the petitioners, and even to the Balochistan High Court. He said clause 12 of the agreement was about confidentiality. But Antofagasta’s counsel dispelled this impression, saying there was no confidential clause in the agreement. He said that they had produced the agreement before the Balochistan High Court and it was in its record. The main case has been deferred till January 25, 2011. Monitoring Desk adds: CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry admonished the government for not taking the Reko Diq case seriously, reported a private TV channel. He observed that the Reko Diq case is an important one but that the government is not taking it seriously.

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