Pakistan wins legal battle against Tuwairqi Steel at international court

The Express Tribune | 19 December 2023

Pakistan wins legal battle against Tuwairqi Steel at international court

by Hasnaat Malik

ISLAMABAD: In a significant legal victory, Pakistan has emerged triumphant in the arbitration initiated by Tuwairqi Steel against the federation at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands.

The claim was brought by the Saudi investors, namely Dr Hilal Hussain Al Tuwairqi and Al Ittefaq Steel Products Company Limited, under the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) investment agreement.

The dispute arose when the claimants initiated arbitration proceedings against Pakistan in February 2018, alleging breaches of the OIC investment agreement.

The case centred on the claimants’ investment in a steel-production facility in Karachi’s Port Qasim, alleging that Pakistan failed to honour sovereign assurances, including the committed supply of natural gas at a certain ore-determined tariff.

The proceedings saw a detailed procedural history which encompassed the formation of a tribunal under the OIC investment agreement and involved numerous applications and arguments made during the course of the dispute.

The tribunal’s final decision is a victory for Pakistan, stating unequivocally that the country did not breach its obligations under the agreement and comprehensively dismissed all claims brought against Pakistan by the claimants.

Additionally, the tribunal directed the claimants to pay Pakistan administrative costs, totalling EUR 210,788.45 and legal costs totalling GBP 1,546,937.08, EUR 117,941.43, and USD 62,415.50.

Moreover, the tribunal directed the Permanent Court of Arbitration to refund the unutilised deposit amount of EUR 96,838.77 to the respondent.

As Pakistan emerges victorious from this extensive legal battle, the decision not only affirms the country’s commitment to international investment agreements but also sets the stage for a more positive environment for future investments.

Pakistan was represented in the proceedings by the Caretaker Law Minister Ahmad Irfan Aslam, who was the head of the international disputes unit at the time.

Tuwairqi Steel was represented by Cherie Blair of Matrix Chambers.