Chagai Hills Joint Venture Agreement (Chejwa)

In 2006, petitions were filed with the Balochistan Supreme Court, questioning the validity of CHEJVA and its resulting agreements. The Balochistan Supreme Court held that CHEJVA was valid and considered the relaxation of the BMCR in 1970, the establishment of BMR and other actions of the respondents legitimate. Constitutional applications were then filed with the SC to challenge the balochistan High Court decision. The petitions have questioned the validity of the licences granted to mining companies because they are opaque and unfair, as national laws to protect the vital interests of the people of Balochistan and Pakistan have been violated. In addition, sustainable development must be achieved in a manner that respects the interests of Pakistan`s indigenous peoples. The UN General Assembly has adopted the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda entitled « Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. » The agenda ensures that sustainable development ensures the eradication of poverty, the protection of the planet and the prosperity of all. States are also encouraged to integrate the contributions of indigenous peoples into national policy-making. In order to keep sustainable development in mind, Pakistan should consider the participation of indigenous peoples in international investment agreements. In this way, the parties concerned are offered more opportunities to make friendly contact with regard to foreign investment disputes.

The ICSID procedure was resumed following the SC decision. Pakistan submitted that CHEJVA had been illegal and that, therefore, any claim for compensation from CBT had no legal effect. However, ICSID ruled in favour of TCC by deciding the case on its own, despite the SC decision. ICSID stated that Pakistan was responsible for the violation of a bilateral agreement that prejudiced the respondents` undertakings. The petitioners claimed that the agreements were illegal because the process of granting mining rights was affected by corruption. Since mining companies were not eligible for licensing under the BMCR 1970, they slung to a relaxation of regulations in 1994. Under Rule 98 of the BMCR 1970, the obligation to grant relaxation is to issue individual responses. In this case, the mining companies did not provide details of possible difficult cases and the easing was arbitrarily granted in accordance with BHP`s requests. In addition, easing can only be granted to companies incorporated or registered in Pakistan; However, BHP was not founded or registered in Pakistan. The result of the easing was that, contrary to what was authorized by the BMCR in 1970, mining companies were given more acreage and additional exploration time. In addition, the petitioners claimed that the balochistan government`s actions were ultra vires, since only the federal government had the power to exempt and relax the rules.

After the easing, the new rules adopted under the 2002 BMR were strongly influenced by the lobbying of the companies surveyed.