Court: Local laws are equally applicable on foreign investors: CJP

ISLAMABAD: Hearing identical petitions against leasing out gold and copper mines, including the world’s biggest gold mine having worth over $260billion situated at Reko Diq in Baluchistan to the foreign companies by the federal government in violation of laid down rules, the Chief Justice of Pakistan CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed on Monday that local laws were also applicable on the foreign investors.

He said it was mandatory to adhere to the local laws in trade agreements. He said every country had made it mandatory for foreigners to strictly follow their laws. Heading a three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, the Chief Justice noted that whether a country was small or big, its sovereignty was important. He said Supreme Court neither wanted to block any foreign investment nor was it against it in any way, however, it wanted foreign investment to be subject to local laws.

“We welcome every foreign company in Pakistan but its agreements must be subject to our laws and not to its own dictations. We are a sovereign country and welcome such investments,” the chief justice said. He said that all were equal under the law and there was no specific law for an individual or company.

Referring to the enforcement of laws by the states on foreigners, the Chief Justice said that India handled Pakistani artists Adnan Sami Khan and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan through its own laws. He also noted that terrorism had reached to its extreme in Pakistan.

He said one could find businessmen in Baluchistan who had no businesses running in the province. The court directed Khalid Anwar, counsel for the Tethyan Cooper Company TCC, a Canadian and Chilean consortium of Barrick Gold and Antofagasta Minerals, to conclude his arguments by today Tuesday.

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