KARACHI         -         Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor has said that it is a delusion that there is an elected government of people in Pakistan, but the fact is that international powers are actually ruling this country.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Thursday, he said that cruel agreement of Reko Diq gold and copper mining is a textbook example of how the international powers and their multi-national companies loot and plunder precious resources of Pakistan with the help of their stooges who run the affairs of this country. He said as per an estimate the value of Reko Diq mines, the fifth largest such mines in the world, is not less than 3 trillion dollars.

Shakoor said Pakistan is being exploited brutally by foreign countries and their firms for long time regarding exploration of natural resources, especially mining and drilling. He said these precious natural resources are being looted by foreign people, and Pakistan does not get anything in return. He said Pakistan was given only 2 percent royalty in this cruel agreement done with Tethyan Copper Company for gold and copper reserves worth more than 3 trillion dollars, and only 25 percent shares were given to the joint venture company.

He said Moin Qureshi was especially imported as a Prime Minister just to sign the agreement of the anti-Pakistan deal of Riko Diq with Tethyan Copper Company (TCC0. He said all this maneuverings show that Pakistan is not being ruled by its people, but the mighty international powers. He said now it is an open secret that Israel was behind the Tethyan Copper Company. He said the people who were part of the signing this anti-Pakistan deal should be made accountable through a transparent probe. He said even the case of Pakistan was fought half-heartedly in the international court. He demanded that the real facts of the agreement with the TCC should be immediately made public.

However, noted economist and vice chairman of economic affairs division Dr Shahida Wizarat asked how Pakistan can pay the heavy penalty handed by the international court in this case. This loss would surely cripple the Pakistani economy. She said the textile and other export sectors of Pakistan have already been pressurized, adding this is a well-planned conspiracy to totally devastate the economy of our country.

Dr Wizarat said getting loans from IMF is a recipe of total economic disaster for Pakistan. She said the successive Pakistani governments have only delivered harm to the national economy. She demanded a probe against those officials and dignitaries who had taken bribes from the TCC. She said if the sitting government did not launch a probe in this huge fraud, the PDP would knock the door of court.

The PDP political strategy vice chairman Dr Abu-Bakr Sheikh said that the decision of the international court against Pakistan is a political decision and it lacks all merits of law and equity. He said Pakistan should not have become the member of International center for settlement of investment disputes (ICSID). He said India, South Africa and Brazil are also not members of the ICSID. He said the verdict of ICSID is a clear proof of its shameful bias towards the developing economies. He said the World Bank also openly supports multinational corporations in their dispute with the third world countries.

The PDP chief organizer Engineer Iqbal Hashmi said that the fine in Riko Diq case, as well as, the fees of lawyers should be recovered from the persons who had struck this anti-Pakistan agreement. He said this shoddy deal was totally against the national interests of Pakistan.

Noted lawyer Adam Singhar Advocate said our rulers and politicians have left no stone unturned to loot and plunder this country. He demanded to constitute a judicial commission to probe this high-profile case so the penalty should be recovered from the rulers who signed this agreement.

The PDP Businessmen Forum President Waseemuddin Sheikh said that all agreements with foreign countries and foreign firms should be debated in Parliament before their approval. He said if the fine is to be paid it should be paid in Pakistani currency. He said India and Sri Lanka do all local and international transactions in their local currencies. He said we have no dearth of engineers and experts and they should be consulted in all matters of national interest.