Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah seeks parliament debate on census results

Sun Online Desk

1st June, 2021 06:18:50 PM printer

Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah seeks parliament debate on census results

Sindh [Pakistan], May 30 (ANI): Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Saturday sought parliament debate on census results as population was undercounted in his province.

Sindh CM said that his government wanted the census results to be properly considered before being approved as the results of the sixth census (Census-2017 data) after the Council of Common Interest (CCI) failed to address their concerns, reported Geo News.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah made a request to National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani under Article 154(7) of the Constitution to summon a joint session of parliament.

Murad said that the Article 154 (7) states that “if the federal government or a provincial government is dissatisfied with a decision of the council, it may refer the matter to Parliament in a joint sitting whose decision in this behalf shall be final.”

The Sindh CM said that in the federal legislative list census appears as entry number 9. He also explained that the CCI was “empowered” to have a final say on the matter as a “genuine and accurate census is a pre requisite to so many constitutional and legal rights” and as it has provincial representation, reported Geo News.

Murad Ali Shah said that it was unfortunate that cabinet committee unilaterally proceeded with the finalisation of census report.

Murad said that it was last year in November 2020 the CCI was informed that a cabinet committee was formed to looked into the census.

He also added that he had raised the concerns of his province in the meeting and was assured that the committee would address the concerns of the provinces, reported Geo News.

The CM explained to the Speaker and the Chairman that Sindh Government has always maintained the position that its “population has been undercounted”. He also claimed that there is “empirical evidence on record to substantiate” the provincial government’s “argument”, reported Geo News.

“Unfortunately, for the first time since the creation of CCI, a decision as important as any national cause was taken by way of majority and not unanimously” said the CM.

He added that during the voting PM Imran Khan “chose not to take the vote of the three federal ministers who were present at the meeting”.

The CM also shared a copy of the dissenting note he had written on the matter to PM Imran Khan last month.

Murad said that after the CCI approved the “controversial and faulty census” the provincial cabinet in a meeting on April 13 decided to refer the matter to the Parliament. He also added that he had made the request for the joint sitting on the basis of that decision.

“A copy of this letter is also being sent to the Honorable President and Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan so that an urgent joint session of the Parliament is summoned to address the issues raised by the Government of Sindh in respect of approving the controversial and faulty Census results,” concluded Murad.

The copy of the letter was also sent to all the chief ministers of the country and three federal ministers who are part of the CCI.

Last month, the federal government approved the official release of the Census-2017 results which had been withheld for the last couple of years.

The decision was taken during a virtual meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) — a body that resolves the disputes of power-sharing between the federation and provinces — with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.

It should be recalled that during the 44th meeting of the CCI, different provinces expressed their opinions regarding the release of the Census-2017 data, after which the council had decided to convene a virtual meeting to make a final decision.

According to sources, while Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa insisted on releasing the census data, Sindh demanded the census be held anew in the province so that the consolidated data could be released together. During the last meeting, Balochistan had said that it needs more time to deliberate over the matter, reported Geo News. (ANI)