Michael rejects anti-census reservations, says CCI, parliament right forums to resolve issues

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APP90-30 ISLAMABAD: August 30 - Kamran Micheal, Minister for Statistics addressing a press conference regarding provisional census results. APP

ISLAMABAD, Aug 30 (APP): Federal Minister for Statistics Kamran Michael Wednesday rejected reservations expressed by some
political parties about the process and results of 6th Population
and Housing Census 2017.
The minister was addressing a press conference here at Statistics
House. He was flanked by Secretary Statistics Division Rukhsana Yasmin,
Chief Census Commissioner Asif Bajwa and other top officials of the
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
There were constitutional institutions that could be approached in
case of any objection over the census process and results, the minister
said while rejecting the doubts over results by some political parties
belongong to the Sindh province.
“Those having reservations must discuss the same in the parliament
or raise their concerns at the Council of Common Interests (CCI) for
their resolution,” he said. CCI’s recommendations for reforms, if any,
would be followed, he added.
Michael said since all the provinces were represented by their
chief ministers at the CCI, therefore, it was a constitutional forum
for amicable resolution of disputes among them.
He said the parliament was another forum where such issues could
be discussed. The parliament also referred issues to the CCI for
resolution.
“If you have any reservations, come to the CCI,” the minister
added.
Kamram Michael said the reason that there was not much difference in
the population of Karachi and Lahore was that the Punjab government
had declared the entire Lahore district as urban, while areas in two
districts of Karachi were still classified as rural.
He said provisional results were declared after the reconciliation
of census data collected by the PBS and the army.
He said the PBS conducted the census in accordance with the
boundaries notified by the provincial governments and did not violate
any boundary. It was not the mandate of PBS to decide as to which
areas were rural or urban.
The minister clarified that increase in the population of Quetta
was due to the fact that Afghan refugees, who were housed in camps in
1998, had migrated to local areas, resulting in increased growth rate.
Talking about the upcoming elections, Michael said there was
need for constitutional amendment to allow using the provisional
results for elections.
He said as per the Constitution, only final and published results
could be utilized for election process, however, if an amendment was made for using provisional results, it would resolve many problems.
He said during the CCI meeting, the chief ministers were
suggested to allow this amendment, who, however, responded that they
would approach their respective political parties on the matter.
It is pertinent to mention that the country’s current total
population has soared to over 207.744 million with an average annual
growth rate of 2.4 per cent from the calendar year 1998.
This population number included 132,189,531 rural and 75,584,989
urban population, showing an overall population growth at 57 per cent during
the period 1998-2017.
The figures recorded in the census also showed 2.23 per cent growth in
rural areas and 2.7 per cent in urban areas during these years as the male
population of the country at present stands at 106,449,322 with the female
population at 101,314,780, and the population of transgender at 10,418.