ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the federal and Balochistan governments to file an application in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) for extending the period for nominating arbitrators in the Reko Diq case till the disposal of matter by the apex court in Pakistan.A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, heard the application filed by Jamaat-e-Islami Balochistan chief Maulana Abdul Khaliq Baloch for asking the respondents of Reko Diq case to withdraw from the international arbitration.It is to be noted that Tethyan Copper Company Australia (TCCA) has moved an application in the ICSID against the Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments for rejecting its application for awarding the mining licence in the Reko Diq project.During the hearing, Khalid Anwer, the counsel for Tethyan Copper Company Pakistan (Pvt) Limited (TCCP), informed the bench that apart from the TCCP, the TCCA had also sought international arbitration.Referring to the Pak-Australia Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), he contended that there was an agreement between the two states to protect the interests of businessmen from the two countries and Pakistan would suffer a huge loss if the court passes any restraining order in the matter.The counsel said it would be better for the country to participate in the proceedings; otherwise,a heavy fine would be imposed on Pakistan.He also cited different cases, in which the court had stopped the government not to participate in the proceedings of international arbitrations but later on, the country paid heavy price due to the restraining orders. During the hearing, Ahmer Bilal Sufi, the counsel for Balochistan government, told the court that the parties should approach the ICC and ICSID themselves to convince them that the case was pending before the apex court in Pakistan and the Pakistani government was fully seized with the matter while the courts were in a better position to rule any illegality or unlawfulness in the agreement. He also referred an international 1958 New York Convention in support of his arguments. BalochistanAdvocate General Amanullah described the matter as sensitive case, which involved billions of rupees.After hearing his arguments, the court directed the federal as well as provincial governments to make a request to the ICC and ICSID for not taking further steps in arbitration process till the decision of the apex court in the matter case.The court observed that it would dispose of the case as early as possible and adjourned the hearing for two weeks.