Quetta - Chief of National Party (NP) and Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo said on Sunday that Afghan refugees , whether holding identity cards or not, should not be part of the census.

Addressing a Press conference at Quetta Press Club, Bizenjo expressed his reservations on the sixth census likely to be held in coming months. Senator Hasil Khan Bizenjo was flanked by former CM Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, Minister for Health Mir Saleh Baloch, MPA Yasmeen Lehri and other party leaders.

Mir Bizenjo said holding census will be impracticable and futile in presence of Afghan refugees . He said insurgency had disturbed some indigenous populace and caused displacement in Awaran, Kohlu and Dera Bugti districts of Makran and Nasirabad divisions. He appealed to the Supreme Court of Pakistan to revisit the verdict of country-wide census which will inflict countless miseries on the indigenous dwellers of Balochistan in post-census era.

Despite all these ground realities, asserted National Party chief, holding census in such circumstances will create innumerable hardships for Baloch people. He added that Pakistan and Afghanistan had agreed on the preferential repatriation of Afghan refugees after March 2017 and demanded to delay census till their scheduled return. Quoting KP CM Pervaiz Khattak’s remarks in All Parties Conference regarding census in presence of Afghan refugees , he said no census will be acceptable in their presence.

When asked why NP had taken part in 1981 and 1998 census in presence of Afghan refugees , Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping said National Party had taken the same stance right from the beginning and expressed its reservations on the subject matter. Senator Bizenjo said NP had raised the issue at both National Assembly and Senate floors and will not only highlight it in Balochistan Assembly but also move the Supreme Court. He added that the National Party had not yet decided to boycott the census.

“A boycott decision is yet to be taken,” said Bizenjo at the press conference. He said that Haji Lashkari Raisani had convened a Jirga comprising political leaders and tribal elites and NP would participate in it and comply with all its decisions.

To a query, the federal minister said that the central and provincial governments wanted to delay census, but the apex court verdict forced governments to abide by the decision of holding census.

When asked his partner in Balochistan government had said that those opposing census wanted to conceal faulty 1998 census, Bizenjo offered no comments.

FORCES RECOVER CACHE OF

ARMS IN KOHLU

The law enforcement agencies recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition hidden in a hideout of a banned outfit in Kahan tehsil of district Kohlu on Sunday.

According to details, the security forces operating on a tip-off launched a crackdown in Kahan and unearthed a huge cache of arms which was concealed by outlawed organization for subversive bids. The arms and ammunition include 20 rockets, 14 fuses, 70 RPG mortars, 5 bundle detonator cards, missile launchers, mortar bombs, explosive materials and thousands of rounds.