Pakistan Denied Relief By US Court In Reko Diq Case

A US court has dismissed Pakistan’s motion to stay enforcement of USD 6 billion penalty imposed against the country in the Reko Diq case by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in July 2019, according to a media report.

Emphasising that it was not entitled to review such an arbitrability argument with respect to an ICSID award under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), Washington DC’s District Court dismissed Pakistan’s motion for stay enforcement, reported The Express Tribune.

Notably, the ICSID imposed a USD 6 billion fine on Pakistan on July 12, 2019, over a breach of the Australia-Pakistan Bilateral Investment Treaty and denial of the mining lease to the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) at Reko Diq in Balochistan in 2011.

Ruling on the matter, a British Virgin Islands (BVI) court also attached Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) assets in New York and Central Paris to enforce the award, according to the media outlet.

Pakistan argued that it had not waived its sovereign immunity under the FSIA since no valid arbitration agreement existed, the media outlet reported citing Investment Arbitration Reporter (IA Reporter).

The court, however, noted that the US statute implementing the ICSID Convention required courts to give awards “the same full faith and credit as if the award were a final judgment” of a state court.

According to the IA Reporter, the court closed its order by emphasising that the award was final and that in the application of Articles 53(1) and 54(1) of the ICSID Convention, Pakistan was obliged to comply with the award, reported The Express Tribune.

Notably, Reko Diq, located in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan, is one of the world’s biggest untapped copper and gold deposits. Development of the asset has been stalled for nearly a decade because of a long-running dispute. (ANI)

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