(Disclaimer: this is a work of fiction. Learn to take a joke; you’ll live longer.)
The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has clarified to the Government of Pakistan that the fine it has slapped in the Reko Diq case is USD 5.976 billion and not, let it be clear, USD 5.976 million.
“Yes, to some, upon hearing it initially, it might appear to be a typo, but the fine actually is what is being reported,” read an official correspondence between the ICSID in response to a query by the Pakistan government. “Since this seems to be a problematic area, to be clear: million – the one with the ‘m’ – has six zeros, while billion – the one with the ‘b’ – has nine zeros.”
The lawsuit between the government of Pakistan and the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) had lasted for as many as seven years. The Supreme Court of Pakistan under its chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry terminated the deal in 2013.
When the former chief justice was informed of the decision, he was visibly dismayed. “That’s quite a lot,” he exclaimed. “USD 5.976 million is quite a lot that my decision has cost the government.”
“What’s that you say? It’s not million……”