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November 7, 2010

SC moved against sale of Reko Diq gold mines

Bollywood

WD
Web Desk
November 7, 2010

ISLAMABAD: A constitutional petition was filed Saturday in the Supreme Court, praying to direct the Federation not to sell the minerals of gold and copper worth of over $260 billion to the companies under negotiations arbitrarily and in unlawful manner.
The News of November 3 reported that some 20 top corporate bosses and lobbyists of two of the world’s largest gold mining groups have been meeting President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, Governor State Bank and others in Islamabad throughout last week, pressing them to quickly hand over one of the world’s biggest gold and copper treasures found in Balochistan at Reko Diq, worth over $260 billion, to their companies, and for peanuts. Tariq Asad Advocate has filed the petition under Article 184(3) of the constitution, making the federal government through its federal secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, chief secretary, Balochistan, Quetta, head of the Department of Mines and Mineral Development of Balochistan Steering Committee through its chairman, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Board of Revenue of Balochistan through its chairman, former Board of Directors through its chairman Dr Samar Mubarakmand and The News Rawalpindi through its reporters, Shaheen Sehbai and Ahmad Noorani as respondents.
He prayed to the apex court to call the whole record of the deal/executory agreement, if any, with respect to the sale of gold and copper mines to the TCC or any other foreign companies, as well as Lease Deed, from the respondents, and direct the respondents no 1 to 5 to refrain from issuing the licence of mining in an arbitrary and unlawful manner and without the consultation of the parliament and Government of Balochistan.
He further prayed to direct the respondents no1 to 3 to explain why the mining process could not have ever been carried out by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Mining Department themselves, and why such efforts had never

been made so far and also direct them to preferably complete the whole process of gold mining independently or with the joint venture within the territory of Pakistan and restrain them from taking the raw material out of Pakistan so that the whole process may be done in Pakistan.
The petitioner questioned as to whether the selling of gold mines worth $260 billion (rather due to the rise of the prices of gold and copper, the total yield could be even $500 billion or may be a trillion dollars) to the foreign companies at a very low price, behind closed doors, secretly, is not fraud and criminal breach of trust?
He further questioned as to whether national wealth being disposed off by the respondents to the foreign companies against peanuts price is not high treason?
The petitioner submitted that the respondents no 1 with the coalition of respondents no 2 to 5 is selling/disposing off one of the world’s biggest gold and copper treasures found in Balochistan at Reko Diq, worth almost a trillion dollars, to the foreign companies on meagre price and the secret negotiations are in progress to finalise the deal as soon as possible.
He stated that the facts of the whole deal of corrupt practices have been reported in The News of November 3.