ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday directed Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal to address the reservations of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) regarding the ongoing digital census at the earliest, ARY News reported.
The prime minister issued the directives during a meeting with a delegation of the MQM-P led by Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, who called on him in Islamabad. Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal was present at the meeting.
The delegation comprised MQM Convenor and MNA Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Federal Information Technology and Telecom Minister Syed Aminul Haq, former MNA Farooq Sattar, and former Senator Mustafa Kamal.
During the meeting, PM Shehbaz Sharif and MQM-P leaders discussed the overall political situation in the country.
The delegation thanked the prime minister for playing his role to address the party’s reservations to a great extent.
A day earlier, MQM-P leaders met a high-level delegation comprising of federal ministers and expressed serious reservations on the ongoing digital census.
During the meeting, serious reservations were expressed about the figures of the census released so far. Sources told ARY News that the MQM-P leaders also tabled the irregularities of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) in digital census.
They also protested the ‘injustice’ by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led Sindh government. They demanded the federal government to “fulfill its promises and instructs the authorities concerned to count the population correctly’.
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The MQM-P also demanded formation of committee for correction of statistics released so far.
Sources claimed that the federal ministers acknowledged the concerns and evidence tableted by MQM-P. Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal instructed Chief Census Commissioner to resolve the matter immediately.
Earlier, the federal government extended the date of the ongoing digital census process for the fourth time after failing to conclude the process within the given deadline.
The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) announced a fourth extension to the digital census process and fixed April 30 as the last date.
Prior to this development, the census process was due to be concluded in early April, however, it was first extended till April 10. Later, it was extended till April 15 for the second time and then April 20 for the third time.