Supreme Court of Pakistan
Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: Admitting a petition against intervention from the International Court of Arbitration and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on the Reko Diq mining lease dispute for hearing, the Supreme Court issued notices to all party in the case, DawnNews reported.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, admitted the petition, for hearing and subsequently made it part of the Reko Diq case constituting of identical petitions filed against the federal government’s decision to lease out gold and copper mines in Reko Diq in Balochistan’s Chagai district to foreign companies.

Petitioner Maulana Abdul Haque Baloch, who is also one of the petitioners in the main Reko Diq case, stated that the international arbitration court did not have the authority to hear the dispute.

The counsel for Baloch, Raza Kazim, said no agreement pertaining to arbitration was signed between the licensing authorities and the concerned companies.

Kazim said neither the ICC nor any other arbitration tribunal could hear the dispute, adding that, his client was awaiting the court's interim order on the issue of arbitration.

He said companies should respect the mining regulations and courts of the country in which they operate.

During the hearing, the chief justice said provision of requisite documents was necessary to better understand the issue.

He said the documents would show whether the company in question was real or simply on paper, adding that, the court did not accept companies based solely on paper.

The chief justice remarked that the Balochistan government should assist the court on the issue, adding that, the court had yesterday directed the provincial government to provide the bench with relevant documents.

Chief Justice Iftikhar also remarked that the Balochistan government was not cooperating and it appeared that the state did not want to fight the case.

The chief justice added that those party in the case should furnish information and documentation, adding that, if the records could be provided to the court, the bench could proceed better on the matter.

The case’s hearing was adjourned to Friday.

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