ISLAMABAD: Pakistan achieved a major victory in the Reko Diq case from the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Tribunal, Pakistan got a restraining order on the fine.
Significant progress has been made in the Reko Diq case in ICSID Tribunal, the World Bank’s Arbitration Forum has issued a restraining order on Pakistan on $6 billion fine.
In July 2019, the ICSID Tribunal ruled in favour of the Australia-incorporated Tethyan Copper Company and ICSID ordered Pakistan to pay $6 billion to Tethyan.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the restraining order on the fine is a great achievement of Pakistan and the legal team. Legal action was initiated to declare the fine null and void.
The AG’s office said that ICSID had granted interim restraining order at the request of Pakistan. A hearing was held in April 2020 to make the restraining order permanent and on September 16, ICSID ordered a permanent restraining order in favour of Pakistan.
The Attorney General’s Office says the final hearing in the Reko Diq case will take place in May 2021.
Note that, in July 1993, the then Chief Minister of Balochistan, Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, gave the contract for the Reko Diq project to the Australian company PHP.
The project, located on 3,347,000 acres in Balochistan, was contracted for drilling only, but the Australian company had contracted with the Italian company Tethian to do more work without trusting the Balochistan government.
The Australian company had tried to sell Reko Diq’s gold and copper to Canada, Italy and Brazil through the port of Gwadar, giving Balochistan only 25 per cent of its total revenue.
However, the Balochistan government cancelled the agreement after irregularities by the PHP. Later, the provincial government decided in 2010 that the provincial government would work on the project itself.
In January 2013, then-Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry annulled the Reko Diq agreement between the Balochistan government and the Australian mining company, calling it against the country’s laws.