KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that his government would never allow delay in general elections, therefore a way out be explored to hold general election on the basis of provisional census results.

This he said while presiding over a preparatory meeting for 25the Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee (IPCC) here at the CM House on Wednesday.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, Jam Mehtab Dahar, Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Chairman HEC Sindh Dr Asim Hussain, Pricnipal secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Secretary Energy Agha Wasif, Secretary U&B Naveed Shaikh, Secretary IPC department and others.

The chief minister said that the provisional census results were presented in the last census meeting saying that the final results would be released by April 2018 which was too late. “Delay in releasing final results means delay in election,” he said and added that when final results are released the government is constitutionally bound to hold election accordingly. He went on saying that his government would never allow delay in general elections. Murad Ali Shah said that it was pointed out that the basis of provisional census results general elections could only be held in time when necessary amendment is made in the constitution.

He said that the CCI referring the matter to the IPCC had directed it to examine the matter from all angles, including, among others, constitutional amendment as well as enhancing resources in consultation with the Election Commission of Pakistan, so that the next general elections could be held on the basis of the final results of 6th Population Census. He added that the CCI further directed the IPCC to submit its report in its next meeting.

The chief minister said that his government has serious reservations on population census results. He added that during the last 19 years the population growth of Karachi has been shows at 2.6 percent which comes to 5.5 million. This population growth has been shown in three districts East, Korangi and Malir.  He went on saying that 40 percent of the population of Jamshoro has been shown as urban.

He directed the chief secretary to get block-wise census results from Chief Census Commissioner for counter check. He added that he would recheck some blocks and the results would be clear crystal. The chief minister directed Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mendhro to lead Sindh government team to IPCC meeting being held today (Thursday) and keep a clear stance in the meeting.

The other item to be taken up in the IPCC meeting is the issues of higher education commission and similar bodies in the post-18th Constitutional amendment scenario.

The meeting decided that the provincial government would strengthen its provincial HEC (Sindh), if the federal government wants to retain its HEC then it would have to decide only standards but their implementation would also be made by the provincial HEC. The federal HEC could finance the universities in the province but through provincial HEC. This was the stance of the Sindh government. Otherwise, it is of the view that the federal HEC has censed to exist.

The IPCC would also discuss Import of LNG. The Sindh government is of the view that the import of LNG is a CCI subject. He also emphasized on the need of introducing reforms in gas sector. Murad Ali Shah also said that there should a regulatory body at upstream in which provincial government should have due representation.

The other items to be discussed in the IPCC are supply of gas to localities/villages in five km radius of gas producing fields.