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Supreme Court Declines Stay Order on Reko Dik’s Contract

Reko Diq

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday declined to grant stay order on awarding of contract for exploration of Reko Dik mines in Balochistan and put off hearing till December 15.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday adjourned hearing after clubbing identical pleas of Barrister Zafrullah and others with main petition of Tariq Asad advocate.

On bench’s inquiry, Advocate General Balochistan and Deputy Attorney General replied that there was no such contract in the field.

The bench observed since both high government officials had been giving statements over the issue, it would be premature to grant stay.

On last date of hearing, the bench had issued notices upon a constitutional petition filed by Advocate Tariq Asad in which he had claimed that contracts of the gold and copper mines at Reko Dik in Balochistan were awarded to foreign companies at throwaway prices.

Through his petition he had requested the court to direct the Federation not to sell the mineral deposits of gold and copper.

Asad requested the court for the whole record of the deal/executory agreement, if any, with respect to the sale of gold and copper mines to the TCC or any other foreign companies, as well as lease, from the respondents.

Besides, a direction was sought for respondents to refrain from issuing the licence of mining in an arbitrary and unlawful manner and without the consultation of the parliament and the Balochistan government.

He further requested that respondents be asked to explain as to why the mining process could not have ever been carried out by the ministry of petroleum and natural resources and mining department.

The petitioner questioned the selling of gold mines worth $260 billion (rather due to the rise of the prices of gold and copper, the total yield could be even $500 billion or may be a trillion dollars) to the foreign companies at a very low price.