Friday, 8 April 2011

Reko Diq: Selling Gold Mining license for $100 is a heinous joke; Pakistanis are not stupid! - CJP

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Balochistan advocate general to get fresh instructions from the provincial chief minister and the chief secretary regarding the Reko Diq project, saying the provincial government had accepted all the conditions of the Zionist BHP Australia for the signing of joint venture agreement and the relaxation of rules. The chief justice remarked that the case is not against the Balochistan Development Authority (BDA) chairman but the government of Balochistan, adding the GoB from the day one had accepted all the conditions of the BHP.

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice
Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary
A three-member bench, headed by the Chief Justice, was hearing the case relating to the exploration of gold and copper from the Reko Diq site. Other judges on the bench were Justice Mohammad Sair Ali and Justice Ghulam Rabbani. The chief justice said from the day one all the agreements, contracts and relaxation of rules were signed by the BHP to obtain exploration license for the Reko Diq project. He said the court would decide whether the joint venture agreement and the licenses, both prospecting and exploration, were approved legally or not. The CJP asked the Tethyan Copper Company’s counsel Khalid Anwar that so far the company has failed to submit feasibility report of the project and therefore there was no need to tell the court that the Balochistan government has no money and expertise and the mining lease be awarded to the company.

“We have to examine the case as per rules and the constitution. You must appreciate that we have been hearing the case for the last four months patiently”, Chief Justice said.

TCC’s Khalid Anwar submitted that the BHP Company sold its exploration license for $100 and put a condition on the other company to find out something in six months and then come into an alliance and be a partner in investment and profit. The CJP said:

“After 10 years and according to you after investing millions of dollars, they sell the license only for $100. What you people think, Pakistanis’ are stupid, and will believe all this. In a $100, you cannot get even a nice shirt of Marks and Spencer.”

The TCC lawyer informed the court that under rules 2002, for the first time the prospecting license was converted into an exploration license on May 18, 2002. Advocate General Amanullah Kanrani said that the basic problem regarding the Reko Diq project started due to Atta Mohammad Jaffer, the chairman Balochistan Development Authority (BDA). “Everything happened in the garb of relaxation of rules”, he said. It was at this point that the CJP remarked that the case is not against the BDA but the Balochistan government. However, the AG said that the chief minister had not approved the relaxation of rules.

Mountains of Gold at Reko Diq, Pakistan
Zionist TCC counsel Khalid Anwar said that the provincial governor, who was the chief executive of Balochistan, had allowed the BDA chairman to approve amendments in the rules on behalf of the Balochistan government. The learned counsel whom the court on Wednesday directed to conclude arguments by Thursday, granted one more day for completing the arguments and adjourned the hearing till Friday. The bench has been hearing various constitutional petitions filed by Muhammad Tariq Asad, ASC, Maulana Abdul Haque Baloch and around 26 senators including Dr Ismail Buledi, Azam Khan Swati, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Hafiz Abdur Rasheed and others under Article 184(3) of the Constitution against leasing out of Reko Diq gold and copper mines in Balochistan to foreign exploration and mining companies in alleged violation of the law.

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