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PTI violated its commitment over census results, alleges Murtaza Wahab

Sindh law and environment adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab has alleged that the federal government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has violated its commitment over the issue of the 2017 census results, as the committee on the census problem presented its findings to the federal cabinet without consulting the provinces against a decision of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) in this regard.

Speaking at a press conference in Karachi on Monday, the adviser, who also acts as the spokesman for the Sindh government, said that the CCI was a big constitutional forum chaired by the prime minister, and negating its decision was a blatant violation of the constitution.

He said that the province would not get its due resources if its population was not properly counted in the census. He recalled that the PTI in the past regime had supported the viewpoint of the PPP on the issue of erroneous results of the population census campaign of 2017.

Barrister Wahab said that the PTI after coming to power had gone against its own position on the issue of the census results. Barrister Wahab lamented the situation that the domestic and industrial consumers in the province had to face severe gas shortfall during the current winter despite the fact that the province accounted for 68 per cent of the natural gas produced in the country.

He said the industrial output of the province had been badly affected due to the curtailment of the gas supply, which also negated provisions of the constitution. According to the law adviser, industries of the province had to face this situation despite the fact that Sindh accounted for the majority volume of the Pakistani exports while the prime minister himself in a tweet had acknowledged the tax contribution of the industrial areas of the province.

He said that Karachi-based industrialists had even shown willingness to purchase expensively imported gas, but still their issue of a shortage of gas was unresolved. Barrister Wahab said that six members of the federal cabinet belonged to Sindh but they never raised voice for the province so that it could get its due constitutional rights and share in the national resources.

He said the PM, despite his commitment, had failed to take any action against “sugar mafia” in the country, and the sugar price had exorbitantly increased, much to the disadvantage of the public.

On December 23 last year, the PPP had rejected the federal cabinet’s decision to approve the results of the Sixth National Census 2017, saying that it was unfortunate that the cabinet had opted to bypass an agreement of the parliamentary leaders of the Senate for correcting the highly controversial census results through a recount in five per cent randomly selected population blocks.

“The agreement of the parliamentary leaders, which also bears the signatures of Senator Azam Swati on behalf of the PTI, had made possible the passage of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution, which allows use of the provisional Census 2017 figures for delimitation of constituencies only for the general elections of 2017 and the by-elections thereof,” said a member Core Committee of the PPP, Taj Haider, in a statement.

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