The Sindh government on Monday reiterated its serious reservations about the “faulty and controversial” census results of 2017 and decided to take up the matter in parliament.
The provincial government will write a letter again to the Speaker National Assembly and the Senate chairman to call for a joint sitting of parliament.
This is the second time the provincial government has decided to write a letter to settle the matter in the National Assembly. Earlier this year in May, the province had moved a reference under the relevant article of the Constitution, seeking a joint session of parliament against approval of census results by the Council of Common Interests (CCI). However, the session was never convened.
“It is the considered view of the Government of Sindh that the opinion of the provinces ought to be properly considered before approving the Census results,” Sindh Chief Murad Ali Shah said in May.
“It is most unfortunate to state here that the committee instead of addressing the concerns of the provinces or even meeting the respective provincial governments unilaterally proceeded with the finalisation of its report,” he said.
Read IPC minister asked to seek joint session on census
The Sindh government has contended that a joint session of parliament to challenge the decision of the CCI was mandated under the constitution (Article 154 (7).
The chief minister had claimed that the populations of Sindh and Balochistan were undercounted. To back this claim, he cited a Unicef survey which lists average members of a household at 7.2 for Sindh, while the census results put the number of the average household at 5.64.
The matter comes to the forefront yet again as the province has been confronted with a challenge to hold local body elections as it continues to hold off the polls citing its vehement rejection of the census results.
On Monday, the election commission of Pakistan had asked the Sindh government to provide the requisite details and the number of local councils and maps so it can proceed with the preparations of the elections, saying that the commission can only begin the process of the delimitation of constituencies after it has been furnished with the required data.
It may be mentioned here that the Sindh cabinet had also expressed reservations over the proposed delimitation of local councils by the election commission.