Islamabad – Staff Reporter:
After a lapse of three years, the federal cabinet finally approved the 6th National Census-2017 with a dissenting note submitted by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), one of the government’s main allies.
A meeting of the cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan, decided to send the census report to the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to get its final nod with consensus among the provinces.
“The cabinet approved Census-2017 and recommended some amendments so that the exercise could be carried out after every three years and not 10 years,” Information Minister Shibli Faraz said after the meeting.
“Circumstances change within days, so why wait for 10 years for the next census,” the minister said, adding that the CCI would make necessary amendments to the relevant law.
When contacted, MQM leader and federal Minister for Information Technology Syed Aminul Haq said the census was approved by the cabinet without any change, but his party submitted a dissenting note. “We rejected the census results and informed the cabinet that MQM would not accept delimitations under Census-2017,” he said, adding that though the MQM was one of the main allies of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, Census-2017 was approved with a majority vote in the cabinet.
Mr Haq said the MQM had also raised the issue of the recently-held Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) in which most of the questions were related to the federal board, making it difficult for the students from Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh to solve them. Therefore, he said, 70 per cent students from Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir got admission to medical colleges.