'Great relief' as World Bank grants Pakistan six-month stay order in Reko Diq mine case

A file photo of the site of the gold and copper mine exploration project of Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) in Reko Diq, in Balochistan, Pakistan. (Photo courtesy: TCC)
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Updated 19 September 2020

'Great relief' as World Bank grants Pakistan six-month stay order in Reko Diq mine case

  • Last year, World Bank’s arbitration court ordered Pakistani government to pay damages of $5.8 billion to Tethyan Copper 
  • Reko Diq mine has become a test case for PM Imran Khan’s ability to attract serious foreign investment to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank’s arbitration court granting Pakistan a stay order of six months in the Reko Diq mine case was a “great relief,” chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor said on Friday.
Last year, the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ordered Pakistan to pay damages of $5.8 billion to Tethyan Copper, a joint venture between Chile’s Antofagasta Plc and Canada’s Barrick Gold. 
Reko Diq is a small desert town in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, known for its vast mineral wealth.
“Reko Diq:Stay order by World Bank tribunal on $ 6 Bn award vs Pakistan is great relief,” Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, who heads the CPEC authority, said on Twitter.
“Meanwhile PM directs to fully support GOB [government of Balochistan] for accelerated dev [development] of mineral sec [sector] in a transparent manner,structured system, best tech,involve local investors,develop own HR [human resources].”


“This is a success for Pakistan and its legal team,” the Pakistani Attorney General’s office said in a statement on Thursday.
The Reko Diq mine has become a test case for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ability to attract serious foreign investment to Pakistan as it struggles to stave off an economic crisis that has forced it to seek an International Monetary Fund bailout.




The Reko Diq copper reserve is located in the Pakistani province of Balochistan, near the border with Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Tethyan Copper)

State-run companies from resource-hungry China have long coveted Reko Diq and more recently Saudi Arabia has shown interest, officials say.
But the Reko Diq dispute has also been a significant foreign investment deterrent, with international businesses unnerved at how Pakistan dealt with the companies that had pledged to invest $3.3 billion to develop the country’s then-biggest mining project.
Tethyan Copper discovered vast mineral wealth more than a decade ago in Reko Diq, at the foot of an extinct volcano near Pakistan’s frontier with Iran and Afghanistan. The deposit was set to rank among the world’s biggest untapped copper and gold mines.
The company said it had invested more than $220 million by the time Pakistan’s government, in 2011, unexpectedly refused to grant them the mining lease needed to keep operating.
The World Bank’s court first ruled against Pakistan in 2017 but fixed damages in 2019. 
 

 


Pakistan condemns deadly attack at education center in Kabul

Updated 24 October 2020

Pakistan condemns deadly attack at education center in Kabul

  • Daesh reportedly claim responsibility for attack on educational center in western Kabul
  • Uptick in deadly violence has been observed in Afghanistan despite ongoing intra-Afghan peace talks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has condemned the suicide attack that killed at least 18 people at an educational center in the Afghan capital on Saturday.

The attack happened late afternoon at the center which offers higher education training in a western district of Kabul. At least 57 people were injured in the attack, the interior ministry said. According to media reports, Daesh claimed responsibility for the assault in a post on Telegram.

"Pakistan condemns in the strongest possible terms the inhuman terrorist attack outside an educational center in Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul," Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement.

"Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and will continue to support a peaceful and stable Afghanistan."

The suicide attack came hours after a roadside bomb killed nine civilians east of Kabul. Officials blamed the Taliban for the roadside attack.

An uptick in deadly violence has been observed in Afghanistan despite ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban to yield a lasting peace and end decades of conflict in the war-torn country.

The Taliban have been accused of increasing violence to wield leverage in the negotiations.

On Friday, rights group Amnesty International said at least 50 people had been killed in attacks in the preceding week, accusing the Taliban and Kabul of failing to protect civilians.