The Council of Common Interest (CCI) on Monday approved the results of 2017 national population census with majority votes and decided to hold the new census by end of 2021. Prime Minister Imran Khan presided over the meeting of the CCI, which was attended by the Chief Ministers of all the provinces. Later, Minster for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar briefed the media that Chief Ministers of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan voted in favor of the approval while the Sindh Chief Minister voted against the approval. According to Asad Umar, said that the next general Elections would be held on the basis of the new results.
The national population census was carried out in 2017, as per provisional results, Pakistan’s population surged to 207.8 million showing 57% increase in the population at an annual rate of 2.4%. The census results were first objected by the MQM Pakistan, while commenting that the majority population of Muhajir community has not been showed in big cities like Karachi and Hyderabad. MQM Pakistan termed it a conspiracy against Muhajirs and urban areas and refused to accept the results. Dr. Sattar claimed to identifiy all the errors in the census, and that overall population of the Karachi has been under estimated which would lead to financial injustice against the citizens of the Karachi.
Dr. Farooq Sattar filed a petition in the Supreme Court for recensus in Sindh during 2018. However, the court turned down his petition on technical grounds and asked him to file another petition. Later, Pakistan People Party and Sindh government also joined the MQM Pakistan and objected the results of 2017 census while saying that according to latest census, Sindh urbanized population is 52.02 percent in urban areas. According to PPP, these results would disturb the rural-urban quotas of the provincial Assembly seats and government jobs. Sindh government expressed it’s reservations but accepted the results.
In fact, population census is an administrative matter which has significant importance for country’s development and future planning, because all the future planning base on the data of the population census. The allocation of funds, provision of basic facilities, road infrastructure and representation in local, provincial and national assemblies also made on these results. Although, all these things matter for the Political parties for garnering votes from the Public. But, the most important thing which had been widely utiluzed across the country by the Political parties and Politicians is the manipulation in the vote banks and marking of Constituencies or eletroral college. The influential parties and Politicians used their seat or influence to change the results of any ahead Election by fresh marking of Constituencies as per their requirements. Similarly population census also plays an important role in shaping future Election in the country. All these are tricks which largely played an important role in the victory of a candidate other than his vote bank.
As per reports, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali had addressed a letter to CCI calling for Approval of Census Results held pending for approval of the Council of Common Interests since 2017. The Council of Common Interests (CCI) had took a balanced decision and besides approving previous census ordered a fresh one. However, it is suggestible that CCI also take measures to ensure transperancy and credibility of the census process and for that purpose help can be sort from Pakistan Army during forthcoming population census in the country.