Sunday, February 16, 2014

No census for Pakistan?

The Express Tribune reports:

LAHORE: The ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) is caught between a rock and a hard place. Despite its eagerness to reap political dividends from holding the long-delayed sixth census, the ruling party has decided against conducting the population count for fear of unrest following its results. The country’s fifth and last census was carried out in 1998.

Sources privy to the February 10 meeting of the Council of Common Interests revealed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif dropped the most critical feature of the council’s agenda after consultation with stakeholders. It was learnt by The Express Tribune that no major political party expressed willingness to have the population census. The ruling party asked Nawaz to defer the exercise to avoid ‘negative repercussions’.

The statistics division put the population census on the CCI’s agenda, but Nawaz issued directions to drop it for an indefinite period when almost all participants of the meeting requested a postponement to avoid political and national turmoil till a new mechanism is developed.

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