QUETTA: Former Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch and chief of the National Party Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Mir Hasil Bizenjo have opposed the holding of national population census in the presence of Afghan refugees and displacement of local people due to militancy.
Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, they said that they would not accept the population census as they fear that Baloch would turn into minority in the province which would create political repercussions.
They pointed out to the militancy, presence of immigrants and displacement of local people would lead to several questions about the fairness of the census.
They warned that they have the open option for going to the courts to suspend the census in the Province. They said the governments of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Balochistan are highly perturbed over the presence of Afghan refugees in their provinces.
The two leaders said that they have not yet decided for boycott of the population census and a decision would be taken after a jirga of political and tribal elders, convened by Haji Lashkari Raisani. They said the national party would accept the decisions taken by the Jirga.
They said the federal and provincial governments wanted to delay the population census but the Supreme Court verdict compelled them to implement the decision.
Mir Hasil Bizenjo said the national party had reservations over the 1980 and 1998 censuses due to presence of refugees. He said the same was stance of other political parties of the province.
He said during the All Parties conference, KPK Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak also raised questions over the population census in the presence of Afghan refugees.
He said people have been displaced from their areas in Makran, Nasirabad divisions and Awaran, Kohlu and Dera Bugti districts due to militancy and despite these problems if the census is carried out it would create political problems. He said if the government makes sincere efforts, the displaced people could return to their homes and Afghan refugees repatriated.
Mir Hasil Bizenjo said that Pakistan and Afghan government had agreed that Afghan refugees would be honourably repatriated by March, 2017 but the government extended the deadline. INP