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SC declares Reko Diq agreement as legal

The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday declared the Reko Diq agreement as legal!

The agreement in question has been signed with the Canadian company Barrick Gold Corporation for the development of the Reko Diq mine in Balochistan.

A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial announced the verdict on a presidential reference that sought the SC’s opinion on whether a 2013 judgement by the apex court prevented the federal and provincial governments from entering into the implementation agreement afresh.

In the 13-page verdict, the court ruled that there was no illegal clause in the agreement.

“Provinces can amend the laws regarding minerals. The constitution does not allow illegal agreements on national resources,” the SC said.

The apex court observed Barrick Gold Corporation had ensured the implementation of the labour laws and as per the agreement, a majority of the labour will be from Pakistan.

SC ruled that the Balochistan Assembly was briefed on the matter and elected representatives did not raise any objections.

There was nothing illegal in the new Reko Diq agreement and it was also not in violation of the 2013 judgement, the SC concluded.

The court stated that Barrick Gold Corporation has assured it that labour laws will be implemented and the company will also fulfil its social responsibility.

“The foreign investment bill is not exclusively for Barrick Gold. The foreign investment bill is for companies that will invest more than $500 million dollars,” said the court.

Saman Siddiqui

Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.

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