The Supreme Court of Pakistan deserves a lot of praise for correcting a Himalayan blunder that it had committed under the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry in the Reko Diq case.
On Friday, the apex court endorsed a settlement with Barrick Gold to resume mining the Reko Diq.
According to media reports, Barrick Gold ended a long-running dispute with Pakistan, agreeing to restart developing the mining projects under an out of court agreement earlier this year. Under the deal, Barrick Gold withdrew a case from an international arbitration court, which had slapped a $11 billion penalty against Pakistan for suspending contracts of the company and its partners in 2011.
The court endorsement was a condition of the settlement to resume mining, that will invest $10 billion. This development, in my view, will surely brighten country’s prospects of inward foreign investment flows at a time when the country has been witnessing a sharp decline in its forex reserves on account of a variety of reasons. Hats off to Justice Bandial and his brother judges for delivering such a historic decision that will surely augur well for country’s economy.
Zaheer Ansari (Lahore)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022