National Party to launch ‘save Reko Diq movement’

Published January 6, 2022
NATIONAL Party chief Dr Abdul Malik Baloch addresses a news conference at Quetta Press Club on Wednesday.—PPI
NATIONAL Party chief Dr Abdul Malik Baloch addresses a news conference at Quetta Press Club on Wednesday.—PPI

QUETTA: National Party (NP) president Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has announced that “save the Reko Diq movement” will be launched throughout the country.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, he rejected the proposed agreement on the Reko Diq Gold-Copper project and said people of Balochistan were the owners of these precious reserves and nobody would be allowed to compromise on it.

Dr Baloch termed the in-camera briefing on the issue mysterious and said his party and people of the province would not accept the proposed agreement until it was not made public.

“The people of Balochistan must be taken into confidence on the proposed agreement as it is their constitutional right,” he said.

Ex-CM claims 100,000 acres of land was sold to the TCC only for Rs800m

Dr Malik Baloch, who is a former chief minister of Balochistan, said his party’s central committee would meet in Karachi on January 7 and 8 to discuss the Reko Diq issue and evolve a strategy for launching the “Reko Diq Bachao” movement.

He said the issue would also be taken up at the forum of the Pakistan Democratic Movement.

Dr Baloch said as chief minister he had refused to sign the agreement regarding extending the contract of the Saindak project to a Chinese company. “Nobody could show my signature on any anti-Balochistan agreement,” he said.

“We are the custodian of the rights of the people of Balochistan and will protect our resources and people’s rights.”

Dr Baloch said several changes had been made in the mines and mineral rules, through which the Balochistan Development Authority benefited the company which was working on the Reko Diq project.

He said when the Reko Diq issue was taken up by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the Pakistani state had not taken it seriously as no one appeared in the court from Pakistan on the first hearing. Later, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi appeared in the ICJ when witnesses recorded their statements. The court asked the Pakistan government to settle the issue out of the court, he said.

The mining license was awarded to the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) in 1993. When the matter was settled, he said, it was found that the government had sold 100,000 acres of land to the TCC just for Rs800 million.

Dr Baloch said that the PC-1 that was submitted to the Balochistan government had a very low price.

Provincial president of the NP Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch, vice president Dr Ishaq Baloch, general secretary Khair Bakhsh Baloch, its women wing chief Kalsoom Baloch, Mir Rahab Buledi and other party leaders also attended the press conference.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2022

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