Friday, October 30, 2020

‘Victory for Pakistan’: Pakistan wins stay over $6 billion fine in Reko Diq case

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A massive fine of $6 billion imposed on Pakistan regarding the Riko Diq case has been granted a stay by the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Wednesday, Express Tribune reported. The fine was imposed on Pakistan for denying a mining lease in the Reko Diq project to Austrlian Tethyan Copper Company (TCC).

The attorney general’s office in his statement claimed the develpment to be a victory for Pakistan and its legal arm. Last year in July, a $6 billion penalty was levied by an international arbitration tribunal of the ICSID on Pakistan for denying a mining lease to TCC in 2011.

Pakistan’s plea against enforcement of award with TCC granted 

As per the tribunal’s orders, Pakistan was ordered to pay $4 billion fine in damages to TCC and was also required to pay $1.7 billion in pre-award interest. The tribunal held that Pakistan had illegally denied the TCC mining licenses to mine copper and gold deposits as agreed under the Australia-Pakistan bilateral investment treaty.

Read more: World Bank mugged Pakistan: How much weight does Jeffrey Sachs’ argument hold?

Pakistan made a plea in November to the ICC for cancellation of the award for several reasons, As the plea was registered, enforcement proceedings led by the TCC were put on hold.

The stay order was confirmed via video link in April and on Wednesday, the tribunal finally gave its verdict in favour of Pakistan granting stay on enforcing the award. The ICSID has still not given a final verdict regarding the case, which will be given in a final hearing in May of 2021.

Reko Diq is famous for its mineral wealth, including gold and copper. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government considers it a strategic national asset, though instead of yielding a bonanza the Reko Diq mines have cost the country dearly owing to ongoing international litigation with the TCC.

Read more: Tethyan Copper Company wishes to Resume Reko Diq Project: PM Imran Khan

Reko Diq in Balochistan is famous for its natural resources and abundant wealth, which include gold and copper mines. Prime Minister Imran Khan believes Reko Diq to be a strategic national asset, but litigation with the TCC may have cost the country more than the benefits reaped.

GVS News Desk with additional input by other sources

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