PESHAWAR: Awami National Party (ANP) general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain on Monday said that census was a must to promote national unity and put an end to sense of deprivation among smaller provinces.

A statement issued here quoted Mr Hussain as saying that the census would help remove provinces’ reservations and concerns and that a particular lobby was trying to postpone the exercise.

He said that postponing scheduled census on the pretext of law and order situation was not good for the country.

Mr Hussain said terrorism and extremism was the biggest threat facing the country and that a full implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) could help create favourable conditions for holding the census.

The ANP leader said postponement of census was creating resentment and mistrust among smaller provinces as most of the decisions were taken on the basis of population. Mr Hussain said provinces’ population was on the rise and it was not good to delay the exercise on the pretext of law and order situation. He said postponing an exercise which was taking place after a gap of about 18 years indicated that country’s rulers were not sincere about census.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2016