ISLAMABAD - Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Riaz Hussain Pirzada has said that his ministry has completed paper work for ‘National Population Census’ and is waiting for Pakistan Army’s nod to start work, which is about to complete the operation ‘Zarb-e-Azab’ in coming months.

“The national population census is pending till the completion of operation ‘Zarb-e-Azab’, as constitutionally it cannot be conducted step-by-step in different provinces,” the Minister said this while exclusively talking to The Nation yesterday.

Pirazada said his ministry has handed over the complete draft in the last meeting of Council of Common Interests (CCI). “The census will be held in one go throughout the country at any cost,” the minister added.

He said that the incumbent government is much concerned to conduct proper census in the country in its tenure.

About the recent statement of cricketer Shahid Afridi about the dearth of talent in the country to meet the game’s demand, the minister endorsed the thoughts of the famous player. “Shahid is not wrong in his statement as there is now some dearth of talent to meet the required demand,” he added.

Shahid Afridi, in his recent interview, had expressed concerns that there was not much talent in the country to meet the game’s demand.

About the performance of his ministry, he expressed dismay for having less funds for different projects.

“There is a need for more funds to further improve working of the ministry,” he said adding that his ministry is performing its basic work of coordination among provinces in a well-manner.

He further said that the government should not ban organizing traditional fun fairs in village areas owing to terrorism threat in the country. “With proper security, as I think fair traditional games and fun fairs should be allowed in village areas,” said minister.

“Being a minister, I have to be bit cautious while commenting on such matters but I think such games should be promoted,” he said.