Pakistan News

Result of recently concluded census authentic, SHC told

Result of recently concluded census authentic, SHC told

KARACHI: The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday informed the Sindh High Court that the result of the recently concluded census was not rigged and all the figures were absolutely authentic.

A two-judge bench was hearing a petition filed by Pakistan Qaumi Movement (PQM) chairman Iqbal Kazmi who requested the court to order the formation of a judicial commission and conduct a fresh census under the commission’s supervision.

The PBS submitted the report in compliance with the court’s direction and stated that the census was conducted on the directives of the Supreme Court and the decision taken by Council of Common Interests.

The PBS report said the exercise was conducted in the presence of armed forces and foolproof measures were taken to make the census transparent.

The results were submitted to CCI where chief ministers of all the provinces were present but none of them had raised any objection, it added.

The report said a key principle was followed throughout the census that only the officially notified boundaries of administrative units were used but in Karachi the limits were not extended by the Sindh local government department since 1998 except for a few dehs.

It further said that on the other hand, the Punjab government had extended the limits of Lahore to the entire Lahore district and two union councils of Kasur had also been included.

Moreover, the report said the population of Karachi in 1998 was 9.339 million and in the 2017 census, it was recorded 14.910m, meaning there was an increase of 59.66 per cent.

It said the population of Lahore was 5.143m in 1998 and in the recent census it has reached 11.126m but after the expansion of its limits.

The population of Lahore would have been counted as 8.123m if there were no changes in its limits the report added.

Earlier, petitioner Kazmi had submitted in his petition that the results of the census were not accurate and they were doctored to trample on the rights of people on the basis of their language, ethnicity and religion.

The petitioner requested the judges to direct the authorities concerned to carry out census exercises afresh under the supervision of a judicial commission to ensure transparency throughout the process.

The court was further requested to stay the general elections, scheduled to be held in June next year, until the fresh census is carried out.

Meanwhile, another division bench once again directed the provincial chief secretary to submit an affidavit that no officer who had entered into a plea bargain or had voluntarily returned the embezzled amount would be given any posting.

Advocate General Zamir Ghumro informed the judges that the Supreme Court had restrained them from taking any corrective action against such employees.

“While granting the stay, the apex court had ruled that no action can be taken against those who face corruption charges of below Rs2.5m,” the chief provincial law officer said.

The court was informed that Rs16 billion have been recovered from 483 corrupt officers hailing from different departments of the province.

The SHC had directed the provincial authorities to remove all the officers who were reinstated in different departments after entering into plea bargains and voluntary return (VR) with the National Accountability Bureau in corruption cases.

The chief secretary informed the judges that all officials who had entered into VR were asked to report to their respective departments.

He further submitted that disciplinary action against these officials was pending due to a restraining order by the apex court.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2017

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