Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

A new controversy has arisen over legislation related to the Rekodic project, which has vast gold and copper deposits in Pakistan.

Recodec agreement, has the government coalition suffered from contradictions?
Recodec agreement, has the government coalition suffered from contradictions?


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Balochistan’s Pashtun and Baloch nationalist parties say they will not allow efforts to roll back the Eighteenth Amendment under the guise of the Recodek project to succeed. Balochistan National Party Mengal and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, the main ally of the government, are also strongly opposed to the legislation related to Recodec. On the other hand, Prime Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has contacted various leaders to clear the concerns of the allies on the Rekodic dispute. Balochistan National Party Mengal has called a meeting of the core committee on December 15 to review the important issues related to Recodek.

Observers say that if the reservations are not removed, some of the parties in the ruling coalition may take a stand against the government. Nawabzada Haji Lashkari Khan Raisani, the main leader of the Balochistan National Party and former center, says that the government has formulated a new plan to loot the resources of Balochistan on the state agenda.

Talking to DW, he said, “We have been saying since day one that there can be no compromise with anyone on the resources of Balochistan.” Recodek is our survival plan how can it be done without trusting the real leadership here. The state says the project will brighten the future of the province. How can people who are not concerned with the situation of the ruined Balochistan care about our future? Recodek’s legislation is actually an attempt to roll back the Eighteenth Amendment. The rulers are deliberately pushing Balochistan towards a quagmire.

Lashkari Raisani said that the legislation related to Rekodic is not only Rekodic but a plan to usurp all the resources of the province. He further said, “The current government, which claims democratic traditions, has completely trampled political and democratic traditions by enacting legislation related to Rekodic.” The Center has hastily passed the Recode Bill to interfere with provincial powers. Senators of Balochistan were not given any opportunity to express their views on this controversial bill in the upper house despite strong protests. In this regard, all the facts were distorted in the earlier in-camera briefing as well.

Legislation related to RECODEC has also been rejected by Baloch nationalist party National Party. Former Chief Minister and National Party head Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch says that these matters can never be improved without recognizing the sovereignty of the province over the resources of Balochistan. Talking to DW, he said, “The present provincial government has ignored its powers. Policies are being made at the behest of the Centre. The interests of the province have been completely neglected. The beaches and resources here are being looted like booty. Development works were carried out across the country under big projects like CPEC, but Balochistan was neglected as the real beneficiary. At the time when I was performing duties as Chief Minister in the province, I was kept away from the most important issues in this regard. I also did not attend the in-camera briefing on Recodek. I knew that there would be nothing but claims in this briefing.”

According to Dr. Malik Baloch, the interests of Balochistan are being ignored under the systematic plan in the most important projects like Sendak and Recodek. According to him, “In the past, when our party was a part of the provincial coalition government, as the Chief Minister, the file for the extension of the Sendak Agreement was also presented to me. I refused to sign this file. The Eighteenth Amendment is a guarantor of national interest and cannot be abrogated. This new agreement and legislation of Recodek is actually a deal for the future of Balochistan, which the patriots here and the Amin parties of Jamuri traditions will not accept under any circumstances.

The Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Bill was also criticized by Maulana Fazlur Rahman, the head of the ruling alliance PDM. Abdul Ali Khan, provincial leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, says that hasty decisions often lead to contradictions.

Speaking to DW, he said, “I think the Recodec legislation is controversial in many respects. The political leadership was not taken into confidence as it should have been in this regard. The objections raised by the coalition parties of the present government were ignored. The 18th Amendment is the main instrument for removing the deprivations of the national units in the country. There was a need for the government to take steps based on ground realities, but this time the same attitude was adopted like previous governments.

Ali Khan said that Ricodic is a multi-billion dollar project. The government has to take the political leadership into confidence in this regard without wasting time. He further said, “There was a detailed discussion between JUIF chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Sardar Akhtar Mengal on the issues related to Recodek. Today we have heard that the Prime Minister has removed the concerns of the political leadership.” What has been announced? I understand that announcements alone cannot improve these matters. The government has to show seriousness on this most important issue. If the concerns about Rekodic are not removed, the current government coalition may suffer contradictions.

The previous coalition government of Balochistan had also established an investment board for the interests of the province while taking a clear stand on Recodek. Former Chief Minister Jam Kamal had taken a stand regarding the Investment Board that in the future, the province will be a major partner in every foreign investment agreement in Balochistan. According to the sources, the relevant clauses of the Board of Investment and Trade have also been ignored in the recent agreement of Recodec.

Some critics say that the establishment was not happy with the Investment Board created by the Jam Kamal government. It was for this reason that Jam Kamal’s government was overthrown overnight through alleged interference. Jam Kamal also severely criticized the Rekodic agreement.

Also, in November 2011, the license of a company called TCC was also canceled due to non-fulfillment of the conditions of Mining Rules 2002 during the previous regime of Pakistan People’s Party. TCC had approached two international arbitration forums against Pakistan. The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICDS) ruled in favor of TCC, Titian Copper Gold Company and imposed a penalty of $6 billion on Pakistan’s behalf.

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