News Desk |
The Information Secretary of Pakistan People’s Party, MNA Dr. Nafisa Shah, on Monday, declared that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to establish a commission to launch an inquiry into the Reko Diq matter was “blatant exaggeration”, stating the individuals responsible for the issue are currently positioned as key stakeholders in the government.
MNA Dr. Nafisa Shah raised doubts over the premier’s decision to set up a tribunal for investigated the $5.9 billion award levelled by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) against Pakistan in the Reko Diq case. In a statement to the press, she stated that “real accountability” is needed to hold those responsible for causing such a staggering loss to the nation.
In 2013, the Supreme Court had also declared the contract between the TTC and the Balochistan government as “illegal”.
Dr. Nafisa Shah noted that all the involved stakeholders, including former president and military dictator General Pervez Musharraf, ought to be taken to task if justice is to be ensured in this case.
The PPP MNA added that given that the counsel for General Pervez Musharraf, Barrister Farogh Naseem, is the current Federal Minister for Law and Justice, and another stakeholder, Senator Azam Swati, happens to be a member of the current Federal Cabinet, PM Khan’s decision to establish an investigative commission is just a technique to disguise the real culprits.
MNA Dr. Shah added that the process of “selective accountability” that has become the new norm in the country is only applicable on politicians and civilians, while the truly corrupt stakeholders and embezzlers of the nation’s wealth were not being reprimanded.
Inquiry Commission in Reko Diq Case
In response to the $5.9 billion penalty levelled against Pakistan in the aborted Reko Diq mining contract, Prime Minister Imran Khan had, on Sunday, had given orders to establish an investigative commission to launch a detailed inquiry into the matter.
The commission will be tasked with investigating all the factors that led to Pakistan’s economic predicament, and caused such a huge loss to the national exchequer. Moreover, the premier has ordered the commission to investigate the lessons that ought to be learnt in order to avoid such miscalculations in the future.
There have been no reports regarding the officials who will be leading this investigative commission, however, it is likely that the members will be introduced to the press in due time.
On the other hand Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry praised Prime Minister Khan’s decision to establish an inquiry commission, and expressed optimism that the culprits will be held accountable in a court of law. But he also said that Former CJ should be held accountable and put in jail for his role in the Reko Diq saga. Iftikhar Chaudhry’s crime, the minister added was no less damaging to Pakistan than the corruption by Nawaz and Zardari.
Penalty slammed on Pakistan
Earlier on Friday, a tribunal of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) had slammed Pakistan with a staggering penalty worth $5.97 billion. The 700-page ruling reveals that this includes $1.87 billion worth of interest, while the actual penalty lies at $4.08 billion.
The dispute arose in 2011, when the mining authorities of Balochistan rejected the application filed by Tethyan Copper Company (TTC) Limited for a multimillion dollar mining lease, prompting the mining company to file a case claiming $8.5 billion in damages.
Pakistan had submitted its plea at the ICSID tribunal, stating that the mining license for the Reko Diq mining project had been obtained through corrupt channels, and therefore, the claimant, TTC had no right to claim any kind of damages. In 2013, the Supreme Court had also declared the contract between the TTC and the Balochistan government as “illegal”.