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Reko Diq: a sensitive matter

November 24, 2012

MANY reviews appearing in the media on Reko Diq neglect some important aspects and mix up the chronological order.

It is incorrect to say that Chilean Antofagasta– Canadian Barrak Gold Joint Venture was the predecessor or even successor to TCC Pak, the company which entered into agreement with GoP and GoB.

It is also incorrect to suggest that secondary processing, meaning thereby the extraction of gold and copper, whether in Pakistan or outside, is inconsequential.

Dr Samar Mubarak Mand may not be correct about his claims on expertise in the field, but the perspective licence allocated for $450 million traded for a reported sum of $4.5 billion to JV cannot be justified either.

A similar case is that of Mangolian gold mines, where the land - locked Mangolians are stopping such transaction by statutory enforcement. Admittedly, the GoB or Dr Samar lack this specific expertise but the way out cannot be allowing MNCs to play with our national wealth.

Reko Diq is a breakthrough to be availed with all prudence and caution. We have a duty to ensure that the benefits go to our future generations. The MNCs must also see through this.

This augers only too well for this poor country that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has again taken up a national cause. Surely, those who let the perspective licence continue after the controversial sale by the TCC’s mother company to JV have a responsibility to account for their questionable act and consequences.