Reqo DIq has appeared in the news yet again. This project has been in process for the last 18 years at least. It has had several twists and turns with several renewals, contractors changing hands, and little government inquiry or information of the decision-making process. The media turns its attention to it only when some major news breaks. These is no investigative journalist who knows anything about this project.
The way our media is structured few anchors as well as writers are dedicated journalists so information on a complex subject as Reqo Diq is very hard to get. In any case mining contracts are not easy to understand. Nor are mining companies saints. Their stories of pillage of underdeveloped countries are legend now with many movies reporting on them.
Recently, Pakistan government lost their battle against Barrick the mining company involved in Reqo Diq. Damages to Pakistan will now follow.
Several anchors rushed to talk say Pakistan should award the mining company the lease on a huge mining tract without a fight. Their reporting was very inaccurate. Clearly, they knew little about the case.
In this episode, we talk to Samar Mubarakmand who is our world-famous nuclear scientist. Samar was also a member of the Planning commission who dealt with Reqo DIq. He has followed the case, even appeared in arbitrations and the supreme court (where the mining company claim was rejected).
While Samar Mubarakmand role in the case has been controversial in the media, we must recognize his competence and his knowledge of Reqo Diq and listen to the facts laid out by him carefully.
I would urge my media friends to listen to this episode carefully understand the facts and then make up their mind. Rejecting our own knowledgeable people is not a sign of a developing society.