PPP calls APC on Feb 21 : Census issue of life and death for Sindh, says Syed Qaim Ali Shah
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that the federal government could not be allowed to delay the upcoming census, which should be held in a transparent manner.
“The forthcoming census is the issue of life and death for Sindh and we would not allow the federal government to delay or postpone the census. It is considered opinion of the people of Sindh to conduct genuine and fair census, which would be upheld and anyone trying to play games with it would not be tolerated.”
This was stated by Qaim Ali Shah while talking to a delegation of intellectuals led by PML-F MPA Mehtab Akbar Rashdi, PML-N MPA Haji Shafi Jamote, nationalist leaders Syed Ghuam Shah, social worker Zulfikar Halipoto and Jawed Qazi.
Senior Minister Nisar Khuhro, Special Assistant to CM Waqar Mehdi, Najmi Alam, Karachi Commissioner Asif Hyder Shah and AIG Mushtaq Maher also attended the meeting.
The delegation observed that representation of Sindh has been denied in the Census Commission and urged the chief minister to take up this issue in a Council of Common Interest (CCI) meeting.
On this, the chief minister said that the CCI meeting has not been convened from last nine months. “I have sent at least three letters to the federal government for convening the CCI meeting so that the pending issues could be discussed but all my letters have fallen on the deaf ears,” he deplored and added that even then he would write a fourth letter but this time directly to the prime minister who is kind enough and would understand the gravity of the situation.
The chief minister said that he has started forming ward committees for census. “I would urge all the political forces to cooperate with our committees and also give their input,” he said and added that, “Sindh PPP has also convened an all parties conference on the issue of census on February 21 where all political forces, including the nationalists would be invited to develop a consensus on this issue.”
The delegation and the chief minister were of the view that they would not allow the federal government to delay or postpone the census. They pointed out a statement of a federal minister that ‘skies would not fall if the census was postponed.’ The delegation termed this statement as a manifestation of immaturity sand said that ‘skies would definitely fall, if the census is postponed.’
The chief minister also constituted a committee with Senior Minister Nisar Khuhro and Mehtab Akbra Rashdi to take all the parliamentary forces into confidence on the issue of the census. “We are of the view that the census must be conducted in a genuine way and in time as it is the question of life and death for the people of Sindh,” the committee members said.
The first census in Pakistan was conducted in 1951, the second in 1961 and the third in 1972 instead of 1971 due to a political turmoil. The fourth census was held in March 1981 and fifth, which was due in 1991, was conducted in March 1998.
The census is deemed to be one of the most basic elements for the judicious distribution of resources, representation in parliament, electoral processes, tax collection and other civic issues, including growing urbanisation and evaluation of resources for infrastructure development.