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Attorney General Urges Govt to Fix Responsibility for Billions in Penalties Pakistan Faces on Account of International Arbitration Cases

ISLAMABAD: The attorney general has advised the federal government to form a commission to fix responsibility for the billions of rupees in penalties the country faces on account of various international arbitration cases it has lost, mainly due to verdicts by Pakistan’s judiciary, says The Express Tribune.

He also said that Pakistan had spent as much as $100 million on legal fees due to international litigation. Around $10 million were spent under the current PTI government, he added.

Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan on Tuesday brief the federal cabinet on the status and causes of the international disputes the country has been embroiled in, their implications, the total liabilities imposed by them and recommendations for devising a policy response to them.

According to the newspaper, he recommended that his office should be consulted when investment treaties and contracts are negotiated so that any potential dispute or risk factors could be acted on in a timely manner.

Anwar said Pakistan was currently involved in contractual/commercial and treaty-based disputes as well as those involving national security including Reko Diq, Karkey, IPP, Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, Indus Water Treaty, Kulbhushan Jadhav and Samjhota Express bombing.

He said international litigation against Pakistan had been growing with the number of cases reaching 45 from six in just three years.

Explaining the reasons behind this growth, the attorney general cited the verdicts by judiciary, failure to fulfill obligations or reach dispute-mitigating decisions and poorly negotiated contracts.

He said Pakistan was already facing $1.066 billion in financial liabilities in three cases — $900 million in the Karkey case, $145 million in nine IPP cases and $21 million in the Broadsheet case.

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Another $11.57 billion in claims are still pending against Pakistan, the AGP told the cabinet. In the Reko Diq case, the Tethyan Copper Company is claiming $11 billion in damages and it is expected that the award will be announced soon by the arbitrators. Claims of $300 million and $50 million have also been made against Pakistan in other IPP cases and the Hyderabad funds case.

Despite these challenges, the cabinet was told that Pakistan’s overall performance before international tribunals up till had been very satisfactory, as it won 13 out of 16 cases it faced in the last six years.

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