QUETTA: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday filed a reference against 26 people, including former officers of the Balochistan government and international companies, in the Reko Diq copper-cum-gold project case for causing a loss of billions of rupees to the exchequer.
The reference has been filed in the accountability court of Quetta after the approval of NAB chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal in the light of evidence against the accused.
Spokesman for the Balochistan NAB said the Chagai Hills Exploration Joint Venture agreement was signed in 1993 between the Balochistan Development Authority (BDA) and Australian company Broken Hill Proprietary. Corrupt officials, especially of the BDA, caused benefit to the Australian company illegally, he added.
Spokesman claims mining rules were illegally amended to strengthen the terms of agreement
He said the Balochistan Mining Concession Rules were illegally amended to strengthen the terms of this agreement, which was against national interest, by repeatedly entering into illegal sub-agreements and introducing a new company called Tethyan Copper Company (TCC).
The NAB spokesman said serious irregularities were committed by officials of the revenue department in the allotment of land and other matters. The accused had confessed to taking financial benefits, he added.
The records and statements of witnesses had revealed that the TCC operatives were found to be involved in bribing government employees and illegally gaining benefits. Due to these corrupt elements, the Reko Diq project, which was supposed to earn billions of rupees for the province, could not yield desired financial results.
During the investigation spanning years, various government departments were scrutinised. Overseas suspects were repeatedly summoned for questioning.
Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2020