Senators for removing provinces’ reservations about census


Senators say all parts of the country should be given representation in the Bureau of Statistics ahead of census


Senators on Monday called for removing reservations of provinces about relevant bodies in order to hold a transparent population census in the country.

Senator Sassui Palijo tabled a resolution that the federal government should ensure representation to Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA on the Board of Functional Members and Governing Council of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics in order to hold a transparent Population Census-2016.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s Saeed Ghani said it was the federal government’s responsibility to address reservations of all the federating units in order to make the results acceptable to all.

There was no representation of KP, Balochistan, Sindh and Federally Administered Tribal Areas on the Board of Functional Members and Governing Council of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, he added.

He said the government had opened a data collection center for census in Karachi but it was closed and merged with the one in the federal capital.

Usman Khakar of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party said census played an important role in planning and making policies for socio-economic development of the country, therefore, it should be done in consensus with all the stakeholders.

He said that all relevant bodies of the Bureau of Statistics should have representation from all parts of the country including FATA.

He said if the census was held without addressing the reservations, it would have negative impact on the country’s development. A clear-cut date for holding the census should be announced by the government, he said.

Mukhtar Ahmed Dhamra of PPP said it was good that a meeting of the Council of Common Interests was held but the census issue was deferred in the meeting.

Sehar Kamran said census was an important and sensitive subject, but that it had been delayed due to security reasons and the ongoing Zarb-e-Azb operation, which was progressing successfully.

BNP-M’s Dr Jehanzeb Jamalddini opined that the relevant bodies should have representations of all the provinces but said that now was not the suitable time to hold a census and that a conducive atmosphere should be ensured first.

Shahi Syed of ANP said that reservations of all the stakeholders should be removed in order to hold transparent census.

Hari Ram said that all Hindus were one and there should be no scheduled caste.

Nihal Hashmi of PML-N said that the past governments did not do anything on this front and failed to hold census and that this government was not responsible for the delay. Criticism for the sake of criticism should be avoided.

He said that CCI was the right forum for such issues and there was a need to put trust in leaders to make decisions in the interest of the country.

Senator Mushahidullah asked why the census was not conducted by the past government during its five-year term. “The PML-N conducted census in past and we will do it again.”

Gyan Singh said that distribution of resources should be equitable.

Minister for Climatic Change Zahid Hamid said that all the provinces had representation on the governing body as they had been appointed on merit, through a proper procedure and after consultation.

He said that it was very sad to hear it said that the consensus was being postponed due to dishonesty or ill-intention of the government.

Later, the Senate chairman referred the resolution to the Standing Committee concerned and sought its report within a month.