The Reko Diq copper and gold project in Chagai, Balochistan seems to be clouded in mystery. It appears that a conspiracy is being hatched to rob the people of Balochistan of their mineral wealth. The Tethyan Copper Co. Ltd (TCC) a joint venture between Canadas Barrick Gold and Chiles Antofagasta Minerals were granted exploration mining rights with 75% stakes, while the Balochistan government had only 25 percent share in the project. There are contradictions in Reko Diqs copper and gold reserves/value, though unconfirmed estimates put the figure around 4 billion tons worth 260 billion US Dollars making it the worlds largest copper/gold deposits. Reports of secret meetings between the TCC and government high ups indicate that Reko Diq may be heading towards perhaps the biggest scam in the countrys history. It appears that political elite both at the Centre and the province are trying to manipulate the award of mining contract to suit their vested interests. Why is the government keeping details about Reko Diq secret from the nation? To ensure transparency, an independent Commission comprising federal and provincial experts be setup under directives of the Supreme Court to probe all aspects of the agreement with TCC so that the rights and interests of the people of Balochistan are duly protected. TCCs feasibility report on Reko Diq including facts/figures about the areas gold and copper deposits and their true worth must also be made public. The Supreme Court saved the Steel Mills from being sold for peanuts and is conducting hearings in the Rental Power projects mega fraud. It must save Reko Diq from the wolves. BRIG FAROOQ HAMEED KHAN (RETD), Lahore, November 10.