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Reko Diq stay order great relief for country: Asim Bajwa

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SAPM says PM has directed to fully support Balochistan government for accelerated development of mineral sector. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: SAPM on Information and Broadcast retired Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa on Friday termed the stay order granted by the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in the Reko Diq case a great relief for the country.

“Stay order by World Bank tribunal on $6 Bn award vs Pakistan is great relief,” Asim Bajwa said in a Twitter post.

PM has also directed to fully support the government of Balochistan for accelerated development of the mineral sector in a transparent manner, the SAPM added.

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On Thursday, the World Bank tribunal had granted Pakistan a stay order of six months in the Reko Diq case in which the country was slapped with a $6 billion fine.

In July 2019, the ICSID granted an award of $5.976 billion against Pakistan for denying a mining lease to an Australian company, Tethyan Copper Company (TCC). Immediately thereafter, the TCC commenced proceedings for the enforcement of the award.

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

In November 2019, Pakistan had 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.


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