Pakistan terminates 23 BITs

The government of Pakistan has reportedly resolved to terminate 23 of the country’s 48 BITs that have completed their initial duration. Additionally, the country will not ratify 16 BITs that have been signed but have yet to enter into force.

Pakistan is currently facing 10 ISDS cases in several international arbitration forums. Recent losses have proved costly; for example, in 2019, an ICSID tribunal awarded the Australian mining company Tethyan Copper Company USD 5.8 billion in a claim against the state.

Well-known for signing the first BIT with Germany in 1959, Pakistan decided to review the entire BIT situation in 2013, developing a new BIT model. Problematic clauses in the BITs, according to the government, included indirect expropriation, FET, national treatment, and MFN.

For the remaining nine ratified BITs that cannot be unilaterally terminated at present, Pakistan will ask its treaty partners to sign a Joint Interpretation Protocol to mitigate the harmful effects or to amend the provisions for ISDS, FET, and expropriation.