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Canadian High Commissioner Discusses Reko Diq Project and Economic Ties with Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister

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Canadian High Commissioner Leslie Scanlon met with Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on November 6, 2023, to engage in discussions concerning the Reko Diq project and bolstering economic ties between the two nations, as reported by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The Reko Diq project is of significant importance, with Canadian mining company Barrick Gold holding a 50 percent stake in Pakistan’s Reko Diq mine, while the remaining 50 percent is owned by the governments of Pakistan and its southwestern Balochistan province. This mine is regarded as one of the world’s largest untapped sources of copper and gold.

The meeting between Scanlon and Kakar took place at the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad, and various facets of their bilateral relations were on the agenda, according to the PMO. These discussions encompassed Canada’s development initiatives in Pakistan, humanitarian aid provided for the 2022 floods, economic and trade partnerships, as well as Canadian investments in Pakistan, with a specific focus on the Reko Diq Project.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Kakar underscored the importance of fostering strong ties between Pakistan and Canada. He also emphasized the measures that Pakistan has taken to stabilize its economy and facilitate foreign investment through the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

Furthermore, the Prime Minister drew attention to the government’s efforts to repatriate illegal immigrants from Pakistan. In response, the Canadian High Commissioner commended the support provided by the Government of Pakistan to Canada’s Afghan Relocation Program.

It is noteworthy that Pakistan established the SIFC in June to revitalize its fragile economy, which low foreign exchange reserves, substantial currency depreciation, and soaring inflation rates have challenged. This council functions as a hybrid civil-military government entity, with the involvement of the army chief. Its primary objective is to attract foreign investment by harnessing Pakistan’s untapped potential in various sectors, including agriculture, mining, information technology, defense production, and energy.

The meeting between the Canadian envoy and Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister signals a mutual interest in strengthening economic and diplomatic ties, which could have significant implications for both nations.

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