ISLAMABAD  - In the face of strong opposition from provinces mainly from Sindh, the Council of Common Interests has to defer the announcement of final results of sixth population census to the future government.

The concerns of provinces on water distribution under Water Apportionment Accord 1991 could not be settled either and, on the demand of Sindh, a committee under the head of Attorney General for Pakistan with one representative from each province was constituted which would furnish its report to the committee in due course.

The 38th meeting of CCI was held under the chair of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, chief secretaries of the provinces and other senior officials in the attendance.

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak could not attend the meeting due to some other engagements but the top bureaucrats from both the provinces and other relevant officials were present.

The officials of Statistics Division were present for getting the census results validated by the CCI but as the there were serious reservations over the validation of the census without a third-party audit of five percent blocks, the matter was deferred and left to the future government to decide.

The PPP leaders came up with a strong reaction to the government plan to validate the census results without getting the third-party audit of five percent blocks, as agreed in the CCI meeting earlier.

PPP leaders’ statements came after seeing the agenda of CCI meeting and the Sindh chief minister came up with clear-cut rejection to the plan when put on the table by Prime Minister Abbasi at the meeting. The Balochistan chief minister also supported Sindh and the Statistics Division could not give the presentation.

According to the results compiled by the Statistics Division, the 6th population and housing census, the final population count is marginally reduced to 207.684 million.

The final count shows a slight increase in the share of Muslim and Hindu populations. However, Christian and Ahmadi population had registered a marginal decline.

About water share of the provinces under the water accord 1991, the Balochistan chief minister came up with the complaint that they were not getting their due share of water.

Similarly, the Sindh chief minister also raised the issue of less water than its share under the 1991 accord. He also rejected the presentation given by the Ministry of Water Resources and finally it was decided that a committee under the head of Attorney General of Pakistan should be constituted to listen to the complaints of both the provinces and come up with recommendations to the committee at the next meeting.

 

 

CCI defers census results after opposition from provinces

 

Abrar Saeed