News Desk |
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has called for the arrest of Pakistan’s former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for his role in the Reko Diq scandal.
The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) imposed a hefty $5.9 billion penalty on Pakistan in the Reko Diq case. The penalty was the resolution of a long conflict between the government of Pakistan and the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC).
The judgment which is around 700 pages long impose $4.08 billion as penalty and $1.87 billion as interest. The company had asked for damages worth $8.5 billion to be paid. Prime Minister Imran Khan has already announced that a commission will be set up to fix responsibility of the huge fine imposed on Pakistan.
However, Minister Fawad Chaudhry believes that former CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry is key culprit in the case and must be arrested.
“Iftikhar Chaudhry and the team of his touts are responsible for the present mess the country finds itself in,” he was quoted as saying by newspapers.
افتخار چوہدری کے فیصلوں کی قیمت پاکستان مسلسل ادا کر رہا ہے، ایک اعلیٰ سطحی کمیشن اس شخص کے فیصلوں کے میرٹس جانچنے کیلئے بننا چاہئے، افتخار چوہدری ،حامد خان اور اس کے دیگر ساتھیوں کو پاکستان کو ناقابل تلافی نقصان پہنچانے کے جرم میں جیل بجیجنا چاہئے۔ pic.twitter.com/29e8ubSV0f
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) July 13, 2019
He also called for a separate comission to be made to look at the merits of decisions made by Iftikhar Chaudhry.
He also said that the damage done by Iftikhar Chaudhry was as serious if not more than the damage caused by the alleged corruption of former President Asif Zardari and former PM Nawaz Sharif. Fawad Chaudhry suggested that if both political leaders are in jail then Iftikhar Chaudhry should be too.
What is the Reko Diq Case?
Reko Diq which means sandy peak is a small town in the Chagai area of Balochistan. Rich in various minerals and metals, it is said to have the fifth biggest gold deposits in the world.
The mining contract was awarded to Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) a joint venture of Barrick Gold of Canada and Antofagasta Minerals of Chile. However, in 2012 the Balochistan government declared the agreement null and void. TCC claims it had invested $220 million by the time this happened.
As the conflict gathered steam and made headlines, the then CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry riding a wave of judicial activism took suo moto notice. In the resulting judgment he upheld the decision of the Balochistan government, thus officiating the decision. The penalty now imposed is directly a result of that decision.