- Will PM Khan initiate a case against Iftikhar Chaudhry to recover the amount
By Nazim Malik
Every one is keeping a mum on the notorious role played by former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in getting Pakistan fined for nearly 6$ billion for scarping the Reko Diq deal and the embarrassment the country faced in this regard.
Now for his unmindful decision, the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) has approached the High Court of Justice in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) for enforcement of the July 12, 2019 $5.97 billion award against Pakistan by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in this Reko Diq case.
There has been no word from Prime Minister Imran Khan and his company who before coming to power used to take on Justice Chaudhry for his political role and such decisions which cost the country dearly.
The government of Pakistan should prosecute Chaudhry for giving the verdict against the national interest and recover this huge some of money from him.
Iftikhar Chaaudhry’s son had reportedly made huge assets here and abroad and if the government pursues this case a good sum of money can be recovered from them.
The TCC had moved the BVI high court for enforcement of the award which includes attachment of the assets belonging to the Pakistan International Airlines Investment Ltd, a company incorporated in BVI.
In response on Dec 16, the BVI high court granted a stay order ex-parte without hearing Pakistan, but the government will context the case when it will be taken up again on Jan 7, 2021.
The ICSID tribunal had taken up the dispute between Pakistan and the TCC which had claimed $8.5 billion for rejection of its application by the mining authorities of Balochistan for the multimillion dollar mining lease in the province in 2011.
Earlier Pakistan had taken the plea before ICSID that the agreement /mining licence for Reko Diq was procured through corrupt means and, therefore, the claimant (TCC) could not ask for damages.
The World Bank-funded tribunal had stayed enforcement of the award against Pakistan but with the condition that it would furnish irrevocable bank guarantee for 25 per cent of the total amount of the award from a reputable international bank based outside Pakistan.
Last month, the copper mining joint venture had been given green light to try to collect 50pc of the massive award against Pakistan.
But Pakistan is also actively engaged in negotiations with the parties involved in the Reko Diq dispute as representatives of the country and the TCC had met in London in Oct 2019 where they had agreed to remain open for a negotiated out-of-court settlement of the dispute.
Pakistan had also stated that the mineral resources in Reko Diq were collective resource of the people of Balochistan and Pakistan and the country was keen to develop this resource to ensure that the development needs of some of the poorest people on the planet were addressed.
The TCC is a 50-50 joint venture of Barrick Gold Corporation of Australia and Antofagasta PLC of Chile whereas the Reko Diq area in Balochistan is famed for its mineral wealth, including gold and copper.
Had this matter settled taking on board the Reko Diq company in 2011 and Iftikhar Chaudhry would poke his unnecessary nose in it Pakistan today would not have faced this international embarrassment and fine of about 6bn US dollars. PAK Destiny