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January 17, 2021

PTI, MQM-P agree to holding fresh census

Top Story

January 17, 2021

KARACHI: Wooing its disgruntled ally that has recently expressed anger over the federal cabinet’s decision to approve the ‘controversial’ census, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has sent its high-powered delegation to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s headquarter to meet its leaders to assure that the government will conduct a fresh census in the country ahead of schedule. A PTI delegation, headed by Governor Sindh Imran Ismail and Federal Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar, visited the MQM-P’s headquarters to discuss the “ongoing political situation, formulating a joint strategy between the coalition partners in the upcoming Senate polls and by-polls and other related affairs.”

However, in the meeting, the MQM-P leaders, led by convenor Dr Khalid Maqbool Sididiui and senior deputy convenor Amir Khan, raised the issue of conducting a fresh census.

In the meeting, a special committee headed by MQM-P leader and federal minister Syed Aminul Haque was also formed to compile the recommendations and sent it to the federal cabinet.

Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Haleem Adil Shaikh, Khurram Sherzaman, Bilal Ghaffar and Junaid Ali Shah from PTI and Kunwar Naveed Jamil, Faisal Sabzwari, Waseem Akhtar, Syed Aminul Haque, and Zahid Mansoori from MQM-P also participated in the meeting.

Talking to the media after the meeting, leaders of both parties said that they had agreed on the decision to conduct a new census across the country.

“The MQM-P had formed a coalition with the federal government on the basis of an agreement whose first point was review of the results of the 2017 census,” said Siddiqui. “And now both the parties agreed over conducting the census early.”

Siddqui said that not only residents of Sindh’s urban centers, including Karachi and Hyderabad, but also Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have shown their disapproval over the “controversial census.”

Criticizing opposition parties, Siddiqui said that they failed to do anything on the issue of census. Without naming the political party, MQM-P leader said that a party that has been in politics since 1970 had not protested over the rigging in census in 1970s and 1980s.

Federal minister Umar said that the Pakistan Mulsim League-Nawaz’s government conducted the census that raised the contentious questions.

The PTI leaders said that the federal government had already notified a technical committee with the objective to ensure the next census is not only “accurate but also inspires confidence amongst all stakeholders.

“Census is an important issue in a country where the distribution of resources is based on the population,” he said.