posted at: http://balochunity.org/opinions/2226/
Diq gold-cum-copper project is the second largest
project of Asia and the fifth largest copper
deposit in world. This project is located in
District Chagai, Balochistan. It is a joint
venture between Government of Balochistan (25%)
and TCC, an Australian firm (75 %). TCC is
owned by two companies, Antofagasta Minerals
of Chili and Barrick Gold of Canada. Each has
37.5% shares in TCC. The only exploration agreement
(which is commonly known as Chagai Hills Exploration
Joint Venture Agreement has been settled
with TCC which is going to be end in February,
The Balochistan government intends to develop
the Reko Diq Project by itself and Chief Minister
of the province, Nawab Mohammad Aslam
Raisani, has declared this plan in many press
briefings. The government of Balochistan is
using all such resources which could help it
in fully disagreement with TCC while on the
other hand TCC is not unwilling to say goodbye
to this project at any cost. It is also heard
that feasibility report on Reko Diq has been
completed and TCC is going to submit it to
the government of Balochistan very soon.
The Reko Diq agreement is settled out between
GoB and TCC or not, who will be the winner
of this tug of war, the upcoming time will
decide it. The main question is: What
will be future of Baloch in this project? Will
this project be in the benefit of the Baloch
nation? Will its output be the same as of Saindak,
Gawader, Sui and other mega projects? The expected
but actually the confirmed answer of this question
will be a clear “YES” because in
this era of occupation of Balochistan and enslavement
of Baloch Nation by Pakistan, Baloch nation
cannot even think of any betterment.
Baloch nation is busy in a war with its enemy
for its liberation which will continue till
the ending of this occupation and regaining
of the Free Baloch State. While it will be
very complex for any company whether it will
be Pakistan, TCC or any other company to work
in such conflict zone Balochistan where an
open war is being fought against the Pakistani
government. If international investors want
to explore and exploit the Baloch resources
then they will need to deal directly with Balochs
and have to wait till Baluchistan’s independence.
Does TCC favor Baloch?
Let’s have a look at the current position
of Balochs in TCC. It is argued many times
by TCC, especially in newspaper statements
and in community meetings, that it favors Baloch
because it is a Balochi project but the actual
situation is different. Reko Diq Project is
located in Balochistan while its head office
and procurement / logistics offices are in
Islamabad and Karachi. More than 95% purchasing
is being done from outside Balochistan. TCC
proudly claims that there are more than 80%
employees are from Balochistan working with
TCC. But in actual the majority of this percentage
is working on menial labor jobs.
TCC cannot hire labors from outside Balochistan
as it will be too expensive for the company.
Local labors are working for TCC on very cheap
rates. Security Department of TCC has turned
into a “No-go-area” for the Balochs
because the company sees Balochs as “unreliable”.
The packages and privileges of non-Balochs
are very striking while Balochs are served
cheap packages. The ratio of Baloch employees
in TCC contractors is equal to none.
There are a couple of Balochs working as geologist
and as managers but with no powers and authorities
in their hands to play a role for the welfare
of the Balochs. Even non-Balochs are enjoying
key posts at Reko Diq site which is located
in Balochistan. You won’t find any Baloch
on top level management position. The ratio
of Baloch employees in Islamabad and Karachi
offices is ZERO.
Out of 5-6 consultants, who are basically
given the tasks to represent the project, no-one
is Baloch. All the decision-makers, key position-holders
are sitting in Islamabad and Karachi offices
who are the real chess players and Baloch role
and position is not more than pawns in this
game of TCC. As usual like Pakistan decides
the fortune of Baloch nation by sitting in
houses in Islamabad, the same way TCC does
by establishing its head office in Islamabad
and recruiting non-Balochs for deciding the
future of Reko Diq which is actually the possession
of Baloch nation.
How are Punjabis and non-Balochs going to
think of the betterment of Balochs? TCC vociferate
of some development activities in nearby localities
but these cannot be any substitute of ownership
of Reko Diq in any case.TCC needs to treat
the Balochs as the owner of the land and stakeholders
of the Project. It will have to accept the
ownership of Baloch nation on Reko Diq Project.
Without taking the Balochs into confidence,
no project would be acceptable to Balochs.
Reasons for the cancellation of the
Addressing to press, CM Raisani said that
considering the demands of nationalist and
the wishes of Baloch, the Reko Diq agreement
with foreign firm was canceled. To me, this
statement is not more than a white lie. This
is true that exploitation of Baloch resources
is not in benefit of Baloch nation in current
situation. If Raisani cared so much for the
wishes of Baloch nation then he would talk
about the freedom of Balochs rather than sitting
in the lap of establishment and hatching conspiracies
against the Baloch nation.
The real wish of Baloch nation is to completely
stop exploring and exploiting of Baloch resources.
This is not the according to the desire of
the Balochs to take the project from one foreign
company and handover it to another or to run
the project through the Pakistani establishment.
Chief Minister Raisani is not so much powerful
that he could take such big decision by himself
because such decision will badly impact the
image of Pakistan among international investors
and instead of attracting international investors
it will discourage them to invest in Pakistan.
There could be couple of reasons behind this
cancellation of agreement.
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Firstly, to please its Chinese allies because
China is also interested to take over this
project. It is already operating a gold-cum-copper
mining Saindak nearby Reko Diq Project. Saindak
lease agreement with MRDL is going to be end
in 2012 but it is also heard that they got
extension in the lease agreement of Saindak.
This is sure that provisional government is
not capable to operate such bigger project
like Reko Diq because government of Pakistan
couldn’t even operate Saindak which is
several times smaller in size as compared to
Secondly, the actual rulers of Pakistan (read
the intelligence agencies) who rule the so-called
democratic government of Pakistan, could be
behind all this game. It is a reality that
from day one the secrete services have been
ruling Pakistan sometimes on the ground and
sometimes behind the scene. The same elements
now have some reservations about this project.
It could be a matter of safety of atomic assets.
They fear that this project could be a part
of great game which will cause serious problems
for Pakistan, including its disintegration. They
also think that uranium (a metal which is used
in atomic bomb) is also found in Reko Diq in
large quantity. Therefore, they want
to take this project in their control. The
country’s intelligence apparatus is indirectly
involved in the matters of this Project.
Thirdly, the agencies are directly involved
in Baluchistan’s matters weather the
matters all political, social or economic.
According to a philosopher, if you want to
enslave a nation, then destroy its economy.
If today we look at the economical situation
of Baloch, it is totally destroyed. The Baloch
resources are being exploited for the benefits
of Punjabis. Islamabad does not wish that such
investment should bring prosperity and economic
strengths for the Balochs.
Reko Diq is the first project which lies directly
under control of government of Balochistan
and profit of 25% shares goes to the treasure
of province instead of federal government.
How could the federation abdicate the profits
from such bigger project? When the question
of operating the project by the government
comes, federal government involves itself because
operating such bigger project is out of range
of provisional government.
In this situation whoever will be the exploiter,
the project won’t be for benefit of Baloch
nation in this era of enslavement.