ISLAMABAD - The federal government Monday informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that meeting of Council of Common Interests (CCI) has been convened to take the decision about holding of population census in the country.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah conducted the hearing of a petition wherein a petitioner Iftikhar Hussain has contended before the court that the population census is a constitutional obligation that the federal government is not fulfilling.

During the hearing, a deputy attorney general appeared before the court and told that the respondents had submitted their replies stating that a meeting of CCI would be held soon to take a decision in this connection.

At this juncture, Justice Athar observed that population census is an important national issue and in the very much interest of the country, therefore, the government should take decision in this regard soon and deferred the proceedings with date in office.

Previously, IHC had served notices on the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs & Statistic Division, Secretary Statistic Division, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Chairman Council of Common Interests in the petition seeking population census in the country.

In this matter, the petitioner Iftikhar Hussain had moved the court through his counsel Yasir Mahmood Chaudhry and contended before the court that holding no census is a violation of Article 8 and 9 of the Constitution of Pakistan and Population Census Ordinance 1959 and further it will lead to the failure of democracy.

He added that the population census due in 2008, was not conducted due to failure of the respondents. He also said that as per 1973 constitution population census comes under the ambit of Federal Legislative list.

He continued that by not holding the population census since 1998, the Federation as well as the public at large are not aware of the actual population of the country. Due to this failure, the resources and wealth are being distributed unjustly and unequally which leads to the environment of distrust among the people of the country.