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Reko Diq deal’s 50pc profit must come to Balochistan govt: Akhtar Mengal

Saleem Shahid Published January 3, 2022 - Updated about 6 hours ago

QUETTA: Balochistan National Party chief Akhtar Jan Mengal addresses a press conference on Sunday.—PPI
QUETTA: Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) president Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal has said that his party will not accept any agreement on the Reko Diq gold project which does not ensure 50 per cent profit for the government of Balochistan in.

“We want 50 per cent share in the profit for the government of Balochistan in the project and establishment of a mineral refinery at the site to know how much gold and other minerals have been recovered,” Mr Mengal said while speaking at a press conference on Sunday evening after presiding over the central committee meeting of the BNP.

The BNP leader said his party would protest along with other parties in the provincial assembly and other forums if the agreement on Reko Diq project was found against the interests of the people of Balochistan.

Warns of protest if agreement proves to be against public interest

“Opponents accuse the BNP-M of being an anti-development party, but we are not anti-development. We oppose exploitation of the people of Balochistan in the name of development of the province.”

He said gas had been found in Sui in 1952 and the province continued to provide 46 per cent gas to the entire country which now remained just 15 per cent, but the people of Balochistan were still deprived of gas — a violation of article 52 of the Constitution.

He said the people of Dera Bugti had no other option but to burn firewood. Referring to the Saindak copper project, the BNP-M president said that work on it had been started just to loot natural resources of the province instead of providing jobs.

He said his party had opposed the Rato-Dero-Gwadar highway project in 1999, terming it an exploitation of the province.

He said after launching of CPEC-related projects in the province, a lot of hype and propaganda had been launched that the project would change the destiny of Balochistan, but the ground reality was that the people of Gwadar were still without drinking water, electricity, jobs and foreign vessels were exploiting resources of Balochistan.

“Injustices of rulers are behind five or six emergencies and military operations which the province had to face,” Mr Mengal said.

He said the BNP-M had signed a six-point agreement with the federal government which included recovery of the missing persons, implementation on Balochistan’s job quota in federal government jobs, legislation for stopping a change in the demography of Gwadar and establishment of a mineral refinery in Balochistan to stop loot and plunder of natural resources of the province.

He said that due to non-presence of the refinery in Balochistan it was not known how much gold, copper and other minerals had been recovered and sent to other countries.

“A new agreement on Saindak should be signed removing past reservations of the province,” he said, adding that the people of Balochistan should be given 50 per cent profit if the agreement on Reko Diq was inked.

He said that there were reports that a 100-km area was being allotted to the Barack-gold company in Reko Diq.

“If the proposed company has no ability to set up a mineral refinery then the agreement should be signed with another company which established a refinery

in Balochistan,” Mr Mengal said, adding that it would resolve the issue of unemployment to some extent in the province.

Published in Dawn, January 3rd, 2022
https://www.dawn.com/news/1667265

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