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ICC Note:

The Federal Minister for Statistics, Kamran Michael, has said that census data will soon be released to make preparations for the 2018 general elections. This comes as good news for Christians in Pakistan as census data relating to the size of their community has been so far withheld by the government. Many Christians claim this is to underreport the number of Christians in Pakistan so as to keep Christians underrepresented by Pakistan’s government. Will the release of the census data help Christians gain political influence in Pakistan? 

01/14/2017 Pakistan (Pakistan Today) – Federal Minister for Statistics Kamran Michael said Saturday that the Ministry of Statistics had sent complete data of the population census to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to make preparations for this year’s general elections.

Talking to reporters at the office of member of National Assembly Chaudhry Nazir Ahmad Arain, Michael said that the government had ordered re-census in five per cent blocks to remove the reservations of other political parties, including those of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). He further said that census in these areas would be carried out by a third party, adding that the federal cabinet had already approved the recommendation in this connection.

Responding to a query regarding the population census, the minister said that all the provinces have sent their technical teams and expressed satisfaction over the census results, adding that except for MQM, all other political parties and the Sindh government had expressed their confidence in census results from Sindh.

Replying to a question about the Kasur incident, he said that the incident had exposed the evil face of our society in which the role of the media was highly appreciable for creating awareness amongst the people about the sensitive issue of child molestation.

He said, “Punjab government is utilising all the resources to arrest the accused involved in this incident, as the DNA report indicated that a serial killer was at work, who might also be involved in the last five incidents. The government does not want to take steps in a hurry and our top priority is to reach the original suspect. Investigation agencies are engaged in their work and would be successful very soon.”

Responding to yet another query, the minister said, “I belong to a minority group and PML-N selected me as a provincial minister for finance twice, adding that the party had given due representation to minorities while other political parties did nothing to resolve the problems being faced by the minorities.

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