Sherpao warns of protests if govt does not hold census

Peshawar: Expressing disappointing over postponing census, Qaumi Watan Party Chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao has warned the federal government of protest drives and convene an All Parties Conference.

Talking to reporters here at his party secretariat on Saturday, Sherpao said, “18 years have passed that no census could be held while according to the Constitution of Pakistan it should be held every 10 years.”

Terming the delay as a usurpation of the rights of the smaller provinces, he said, “The number of seats at the National Assembly and share in financial pool are decided on basis of census”.

He said it was decided at Council of Common Interests (CCI) to hold census this year but the federal government reneged on promises made at the CCI meeting.

He said, “It isn’t fair that almost half the resources are consumed by a single province while the remaining is shared by the three provinces”.

He also criticized the federal government for raising Kalabagh Dam issue and said, “The party at the center wanted to increase its vote bank in Punjab and win the next general elections”.

“Kala Bagh Dam issue is a dead horse and the federal government as well as Punjab’s parties should not flog it as it would alienate the remaining provinces,” he said.

Talking about efforts underway for restoration of peace, he said that time was ripe to sow the seeds of peace and urged the government to exploit the chance in its favour.

“Statements by Tehreek-e-Taliban leadership are a bit disappointing but on the backdrop, diplomacy by stakeholders will definitely bear fruits,” he said.

He also expressed disappointment over federal government’s attitude by not removing dust over projects in China Pakistan Economic Corridor and said that Pakhtuns were the sole sufferers due to terrorism.

He said that around 60,000 people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA were killed and injured and much infrastructure damaged.

“The federal government should acknowledge our sacrifices and implement its promises made at APC to initiate mega projects in the province,” he said.

He also said China was spending 46 billion dollars to develop backward areas so as to overcome militancy and demanded of the government to link FATA with CPEC so that terrorism could be eliminated.

He said urged the federal and provincial governments to work jointly for bringing foreign investment to the province to strengthen economy of the province and youth could find employment.