QUETTA: A Division Bench of the Balochistan High Court had expressed its anger against the Secretary and Director-General Mines and Minerals for abstaining from the court proceeding and their failure to submit an official reply on the petition challenging the extending the contract of Saindak Copper and Gold by the Federal Government.
The petition came up for regular hearing on Monday before a Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice Mr. Noor Miskani and Mr. Justice Hashim Kakar challenging the agreement between the Chinese Company and the Government of Pakistan.
The court censured both the officials for defying the court proceedings and failure to respond to the petition filed in this connection. Mr. Sana Baloch, a former Senator and a Central leader of the Balochistan National Party is one of the petitioners in the case. He was personally present in the court proceedings on Monday while Deputy Advocate General Abdullah Khan Kakar and Assistant Advocate General Shahak Baloch represented the Government.
The pledged to submit the Government response on the petition at the earliest and both the officials of the Mines and Mineral Department will be present in the next proceedings.
Local representative of the Chinese Company MCC was also present in the court during the proceedings.
The court took serious exception to absence of both the top officials of the Department saying that they find no time to respond to court notices
Later on talking to media, Mr. Sana Baloch said that the Balochistan Government is not taking the petition seriously and ignoring its proceedings.
He claimed that the mining lease in 1974 concerned copper only and there was no mention of gold.
Sana Baloch revealed that the Chinese company had already taken away 1600 kilograms of gold from the Saindak. The company did not fulfill its promise to establish a refinery separating gold from copper at the metal mining complex, Mr. Sana Baloch said. He thought mining gold from the copper mines is illegal as it is not part of the lease.
The former Senator welcomed the Government move to re-open the Saindak Lease case for a review. He deplored that precious metals from Balochistan are being plundered at the cost of the poor people who are denied basic facilities of life and state services, including employment opportunities.
Sana Baloch demanded cancellation of the lease to the Chinese company and called for open bidding at the international level in which the poor people should be the real beneficiaries of economic development, mainly exploiting the precious metal mines of Balochistan.