Quetta: Baloch Raji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS), a conglomerate of armed freedom groups of Balochistan, today warned Canadian company Barrick Gold Corporation against engaging in mining activity in Balochistan under an agreement it signed with the Pakistan government three days back.
The umbrella organisation of Baloch armed groups BLA, BLF, BRA and BRG, in a statement, asked Barrick Gold to walk out of the deal, failing which the company’s employees and assets would be targeted.
Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corporation, on March 20, signed an agreement with the Pakistan government for development of copper and gold mines in Chagai region of Balochistan.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was present on the occasion of signing of the agreement.
BRAS “completely rejects Barrick Gold Corporation’s agreement with Pakistani state to plunder Balochistan’s resources,” the conglomerate said in the statement.
“We warn Barrick Gold to stay away from Reko Diq or we will go to any extent to defend Baloch motherland and its resources,” it said.
“Balochistan is an occupied land where occupying Pakistani state has installed a puppet government to provide sham legality to its expansionist and exploitative designs,” said BRAS spokesperson Baloch Khan.
“Ignoring these historical facts and ground realities, Barrick Gold has entered into a deal with occupying forces and its puppets to plunder Baloch resources on cheap terms,” he added.
“Therefore, the defence forces of Baloch nation reserve the right to adopt same policies against Barrick Gold that we have for the occupying state,” he said.
Baloch Khan further added: “We warn Barrick Gold Corporation to immediately walk away from the Reko Diq deal as the Baloch freedom fighters have been ordered to target Barrick Gold’s employees, security, installations and any convoys in Balochistan.”
He warned that if the company does not scrap the deal, it will “be solely responsible for any of their losses.”
The spokesperson said Baloch forces had given similar warnings to China “but they ignored our warnings and have been bearing the consequences.”
“Today China has failed to accomplish any of its projects in Balochistan. Barrick Gold should learn from China’s mistakes to avoid suffering from similar consequences,” Baloch Khan said.
He said “the true representative in any agreement with foreign countries and investors regarding Baloch resources will be a democratic government after Balochistan’s independence.
“Any deals before then will be considered as involvement in crimes of the occupying state.”