QUETTA: The previous governments, including the current one, are still paving the way for the TCC company to get its hands on the Reko Diq.
Addressing a press conference at the Balochistan Hight Court on Saturady, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Amanullah Kanrani lashed out at the provincial government of Balochistan for once again opening its doors for negotiations with the TCC (Tehthyan Copper Company), despite the fact that the Supreme Court has already declared its verdict over Reko Diq null and void and ab initio.
Looking into the back background of Reko Diq case, Mr. Kanrani is of the opinion that foreign companies, including the TCC, kept on using the ‘delayed tactics’ vis-à-vis Reko Diq. Besides, in the beginning, he recalls, the BDA (Balochistan Development Authority), not the Balochistan government, which did not have the mandate and was just an autonomous body, went into agreements with the BHP in the 1990s as a private party and it was temporary. “Since then, we have been giving concessions and benefits to these foreign companies without taking the interest of the province and the country into consideration,” laments Mr. Kanrani, further, stating, “Over the years, these companies did not abide by the agreements. For instance, as per rules the provincial government can only provide 200 acres as per rate of Rs5. Instead, 33 lakh acres were given at the rate of Rs1. And Balochistan Mining Concessions Rules 1970 were changed to Balochistan Mineral Rules 2002 on the request of the foreign company.”
Despite these concession, according to Mr. Kanrani, TCC could not submit the feasibility on time. “Finally, out of 15 holes, TCC could submit the feasibility reports of only two holes: H14, H15. Also, the company had showed the deposits less in the feasibility report. Due to its tactics and actions, TCC was compared to East India company,” points out Kanrani.
In reply to a questions about $5.9 billion damages by ICSID, Mr. Kanrani said in the light of law this could only be executed at the Balochistan High Court. “Under the pretext of these damages, TCC is scaring the Balochistan government to be given the Reko Diq project,” says Mr. Kanrani, “but there are other multinational companies willing for dispute buying, which can negotiate on better terms and conditions.”
“When I was advocate general of Balochistan and the one who pleaded the Reko Diq case at international forums during Nawab Aslam Raisani tenure, TCC even opposed Dr. Samar Mubarakmand to work at H4 hole,” recalls Kanrani at his press conference, “we fought back and succeeded to let Dr. Samar work because Pakistan is a sovereign country and could not be disallowed to work in its own territory.”
In his concluding remarks, Mr. Kanrani cautions the Balochistan government that it should avoid handing over Reko Diq to TCC. In so doing, according to Kanrani, the Balochistan government will trample the Supreme Court verdict.