ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Balochistan government not to take any decision for granting mining lease to foreign companies for the exploration of gold and copper till the judgment of the case. A four-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was hearing various petitions against leasing of Reko Diq gold and copper mines in Balochistan to foreign exploration and mining companies in violation of law. The hearing of the petitions has been continued for the last so many days and is likely to continue further during the coming days as well. The whole case is before the Court, arising out of a judgment passed by Balochistan High Court, challenged in CPLA No. 796 of 2007, and petitions filed under Article 184(3) of the Constitution along with the applications of the interveners. Khalid Anwar, counsel for TCC, informed the court that as far as the parties interested in obtaining the mining lease are concerned, they have only to submit an application to the Balochistan government before February 19, 2011. He said it was upto the provincial government to take the decision whether to consider the request or whatever position it may like. He said that the learned advocates associated with him - Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim and Barrister Sajid Zahid - have also no objection if the court passes an order that the Balochistan government postpone decision on the application(s), submitted for mining lease till the decision of the instant proceedings. Advocate General Balochistan Salahuddin Mengal informed the court that the Balochistan government has instructed him to make a statement that so far it has not received any application for grant of mining lease from any of the companies. However, it would not dispose of the application, if submitted until the decision of this Court. Deputy Attorney General Ch Mazhar Ali, who is representing the Federation, also took the similar stand. Earlier, counsel for the applicant, Barrister Zafrullah said that leasing out gold and copper to a foreign company at Reko Diq in Balohistan was an attempt for plundering Pakistans wealth, adding that that the contract was against the states interest. He said that Dr Samar Mubarak had already stated that Pakistan had an expertise to explore the worlds biggest gold and copper treasures at Reko Diq, worth over $260 billion. He also mentioned that if the foreign company had not shared the feasibility report then how would it share the technology. He pleaded the court to issue stay order over the issuance of licence to foreign company for the exploration of gold and copper in Reko Diq. Justice Ramday said that no one should be blamed as we have made mistakes while the foreign companies had invested in the country. He said that foreigners conducted all the researches and surveys and they had told us about the biggest gold and copper treasures at Reko Diq. He said that an attempt had been made to affect the relations between China and Pakistan by killing a Chinese engineer but the Chinese government foiled that conspiracy. Ahmad Raza Qasuri, counsel for Sanjrani tribe, said that the court should not examine only the legal aspects but also historical aspects of this case as well. He said that TCC was the new shape of East India Company. He submitted his formulations before the court regarding the case.