Chief Minister Balochistan, Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, on Thursday said that though provincial government effectively fought its case in the International Court for Settlement of Disputes (ICSID) on Reko Diq Mines, yet the committee formed in this connection also revisited its future course of action.
Briefing media about the issue of mining by TCC on Reko Diq project here at CM Secretariat, the Chief Minister said the committee is looking into the possibilities of an “out of court” settlement with the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) on Reko Diq Gold-cum Copper mine project.
“Balochistan government at this point of time is not ready to continue with the TCC as it has violated the Pakistan Mines and Minerals Rules and Balochistan Mines and Mineral Rules,” Dr Malik said. He noted that TCC made a feasibility report for mining of 60km whereas it claimed for 90km. He added the Supreme Court of Pakistan had already rejected the agreement of TCC with Balochistan Development Authority.
The CM said that an anchorperson of a private TV channel has launched baseless campaign against Balochistan government, Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, PkMAP Chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Senator Hasil Khan Bizinjo on the Reko Diq project. “We are filing a case against that TV anchor and its management in the court. They would have to prove the allegation or face the music,” he said. Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said that ICSID after 15-day of hearing termed the case complicated and remarked that parties should also work for an “out of court settlement” of the complex issue.
He dispelled the impression of striking a deal with any company in regard to Reko Diq project. To a question, he said that people of the province remained deprived of the benefits of the uplift projects launched in the past. “Many areas in Sui from where more than half of the country is supplied natural gas are still without gas facility,” he said and added the Reko Diq project area of Chaghi is facing a water and power shortage.
He maintained that in Saindak Gold Project, Balochistan receives only 2 percent in royalty while China and Federal government have 50 percent shares each. To another question, CM said that committee comprising provincial, federal ministers and government officials was considering all options to find a solution to the Reko Diq project. Balochistan Health Minister Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch, Minister for Agriculture Mir Mohammad Aslam Bijinjo, Minister for Sport and Culture Mujeebur Rehman Mohammad Hasni were also present.