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March 11, 2020

AGP files request for annulment of final award

National

March 11, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Office of the Attorney-General (AG) for Pakistan filed a Request for Annulment on 8th November 2019 as the first step to annul the final award rendered by ICSID on 12th July 2019, in the matter of Tethyan Copper Company Limited (TCCA) v The Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Alongside the Request for Annulment, Pakistan also requested a provisional stay on enforcement of the Award, which was granted on 18th November 2019. Presently, the ICSID Award is stayed. This means that TCCA is not allowed to pursue any ongoing enforcement proceedings or initiate new ones.

The ICSID Secretariat will now notify the Tribunal for the Annulment phase of proceedings and subsequently decide on the question of stay on enforcement. The ICSID Secretariat retains the formal prerogative as to when to notify the Tribunal, says a statement issued by Attorney General office on Tuesday.

A delegation led by the Attorney-General for Pakistan recently travelled to London, United Kingdom, in order to prepare in advance for the Pakistan’s submissions for the hearing on stay on enforcement, with foreign legal counsels.

The government of Pakistan, led by the Office of the Attorney-General, is seeking out all avenues in preparation to ensure that Pakistan is granted a stay on enforcement of the Award, during the pendency of the annulment proceedings.

On 12th July 2019, the government of Pakistan was ordered to pay $5.84 billion ($A8.3 billion) to Tethyan Copper Company (TCC), a joint venture between Canadian miner Barrick Gold and Chilean Antofagasta Minerals. TCC sought to develop and operate an open-pit copper-gold mine in Pakistan, but the provincial government of Balochistan rejected its application for a mining lease.

On the next day on July 13, Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered formation of a commission to investigate and fix responsibility for the massive loss borne by Pakistan in the Reko Diq case.

The prime minister had directed formation of a commission to investigate into the reasons as to how Pakistan ended up in this predicament; who were responsible for making the country suffer such a loss and what are the lessons learnt, so that mistakes made are not repeated in the future.