Monday March 27, 2023

ICSID grants Pakistan six months stay order in Reko Diq case

The ICSID had imposed a penalty of $5.976 billion against Pakistan, in July last year

By Web Desk
September 17, 2020
The ICSID had imposed a penalty of $5.976 billion against Pakistan, in July last year. — The News/Files

The World Bank's International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has granted Pakistan a stay order of six months in the Reko Diq case in which Islamabad was awarded with a whopping $6 billion fine, Geo News reported.

The ICSID had imposed a penalty of $5.976 billion against Pakistan in its 700-page ruling, in July last year.

The ICSID has granted a stay on the enforcement of the $6 billion award issued against Pakistan in the Reko Diq dispute.

This is a success for Pakistan and its legal team, said the Attorney General for Pakistan's office.

Immediately thereafter, the TCC commenced proceedings for the enforcement of the award.

In November 2019, Pakistan challenged the Award and initiated proceedings seeking its annulment and was granted a provisional stay upon initiating annulment proceedings.

According to the attorney general's office, a hearing to confirm the stay order took place via video link in April 2020.

On 16 September 2020, the tribunal finally ruled in favour of Pakistan, confirming the stay on the award's enforcement.

ICSID is still considering Pakistan’s appeal against enforcing the penalty over its cancellation of the Reko Diq mining lease for TCC, a 50-50 joint venture of Barrick Gold Corporation of Australia and Antofagasta PLC of Chile, and a final hearing will take place in May 2021.

The Reko Diq district Balochistan province is famed for its mineral wealth, including gold and copper.

The PTI-led 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 between TCC and Pakistan.

The quantum of the award is the same as the bailout package granted to Pakistan by the IMF. If enforced, the award shall cause serious economic hardships and retard economic growth.

Seen in this context, the decision on the stay is a success and major relief for Pakistan.