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KARACHI: The Pakistan Peoples Party has decided to organise an ‘all-party conference’ at the Sindh Chief Minister House on Feb 21 to discuss issues relating to the upcoming population census in the country.

This was decided by the PPP’s census organising committee, which met here at the office of the special assistant to CM, Syed Waqar Mehdi, on Sunday.

The meeting was presided over by PPP-Sindh general secretary Taj Haider and attended by provincial ministers Dr Sikander Mandhro, Nasir Shah, Karachi division president Najme Alam, Mr Mahdi, Rashid Rabbani, Lal Bux Bhutto and Nadeem Bhutto.

The meeting constituted committees to meet provincial leadership of all political parties and to extend invitation for the upcoming moot.

In Hyderabad, PPP leaders Maula Bux Chandio, Jam Khan Shoro and Qazi Asad Abid were tasked to meet leaders of the political parties whose head offices were in Hyderabad; whereas Mr Haider, Mr Shah, Dr Mandhro, Mr Mehdi, Mr Alam, Mr Rabbani and Mr Bhutto would extend the invitations to parties based in Karachi.

The organising committee was set up by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who is also the PPP-Sindh president, to make arrangements for the proposed conference.

The census issue had been raised during the current session of the Sindh Assembly and a joint resolution, which was adopted unanimously, asked the Sindh government to approach the federal government over their reservations on holding a house count in just three days. “The census authority shall have representation of all provinces … modalities to conduct census shall be evolved with the consent of all representatives of provinces,” the resolution said.

On March 18, 2015 a meeting of the Council of Common Interests chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had decided to carry out the country’s sixth population census in March, 2016 with the support of armed forces. The last census was carried out in 1998.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2016