Goldmines in Pakistan – Motive behind US yells regarding presence of Taliban in Balochistan
By Faiza Azeem Usmani- IESE – SCEE – NUST
On Wednesday, 3rd Nov, 2010, I read eye opening report written by Shaheen Sehbai in newspapers ‘The News’ and ‘Jang’. Therefore, I decided to write about it and share it with all via IR Nustian’s forum. The news is: ‘$260 billion gold mines going for a song, behind closed doors’. The world’s biggest gold and copper treasures are found in Balochistan at Reko Diq of worth over $260 billion. Bosses of 20 largest corporate of the world are meeting President Zardari and PM Gillani and pressurizing Islamabad to hand over the treasure land of Reko Diq to them.
An estimate has been made that has been included into the report, and it states: “The Reko Diq scandal is equal to 260 steel mills valued at one billion dollar each or 570 steel mills at $350 million each, the price at which PSM (Pakistan Steel Mill) was being sold by PM Shaukat Aziz before it was stopped by the Supreme Court”.
The most important point in the report was that if Pakistan gets its fair-haired share from the gold and copper mines, Balochistan and Pakistan would become richer than any of the present oil producing Gulf countries, many times over. One of the Washington mining industry expert said: “They have the goods, they need the will.”
The enormous mine deposits at Reko Diq in Chagai Balochistan are component of the same geological belt discovered in Afghanistan about which the Pentagon recently claimed was worth one trillion dollars, although President Hamid Karzai claimed it was of value more than 3 trillion dollars.
Canadian company has reported its Government and related agencies on 31st Dec, 2008 its 37.5 per cent share in Reko Diq would yield 17 million ounces of gold and 20 billion pounds of and these deposits have to be mined in 25 years. According to former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, as the prices of gold and copper go up, the total capitulate could be yet $500 billion or possibly will be a trillion.
In 2009, the licenses of the related companies were being cancelled by Balochistan cabinet and Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani said on the occasion: “Cancellation of the Reko Diq copper and gold project agreement is a step towards getting control over provincial resources in accordance with the wishes of the people.”
But on 25th Oct2010, Gerhard Von Borries, Chief Executive of mining company TCC, said on the sidelines of an industry event in Dubai: “The project is going ahead and will not be cancelled, we are now in talks with the government and we expect production to start by the end of 2015.”
Mr. Sehbai states: ‘Only a thorough and detailed judicial probe can untangle this mystery.’
An executive of Newyork’s mining industry stated: “Because there is no effective investigating agency like NAB operating in the country, it is just the right case for the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice of Pakistan to pick up the issue, put a hold on whatever is going on before any binding contracts and deals are signed, which may cause losses of billions of dollars, yes billions of dollars to Pakistan”.
On 7th Nov 2010, news got published in newspaper ‘The News’ stating: ‘SC moved against sale of Reko Diq gold mines’. A breath of relief runs inside me. The news states that a constitutional petition was filed Saturday in the Supreme Court by Tariq Asad Advocate under Article 184(3) of the constitution, pleading to direct the Federation not to sell the minerals of gold and copper worth of over $260 billion to the companies under negotiations arbitrarily and in unlawful manner.
When the Pentagon was roaring about the drone attacks inside Balochistan due to presence of Taliban in Balochistan, no one was able to grasp the main point behind the whole bark. And now the main object is being revealed. The whole game is not played for Taliban and terrorism; it is for the control of the resources of this region especially of Pakistan.
The upshot is that Pakistan at present has to issue mining licenses to extract gold and copper that is having worth of billions of dollars and the current frame of mind in Islamabad is to give the foreign companies a huge share. In reality, Pakistan should keep hold of 70% to 80% of these treasures. In many countries, where agreements were already been signed giving a much bigger share to foreigners, these agreements were amended in the interest of the host country. Countries like Ireland, South Africa, and Venezuela renegotiated their mining and oil exploration accords for their own benefits. Same should be done by our Government for our own national interest.