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PPP demands release of population, household figures of all population blocks

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Senator Taj Haider, in-charge PPP Central Election Cell while speaking at a public event. — Facebook/Taj Haider
Senator Taj Haider, in-charge PPP Central Election Cell while speaking at a public event. — Facebook/Taj Haider

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Saturday demanded immediate release of population and household figures of all population blocks in the country while advising manipulators to stop being over-smart. It said they should realise that they were indulging in criminal activities, which shall not go unchallenged.

“Systematic pre-poll rigging continues unabated and with impunity by manipulating population figures backwards through the officials of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics,” said Senator Taj Haider, In-charge PPP Central Election Cell, in a statement on Saturday.

Taj Haider said there is method to this madness as in the first phase of pre-poll rigging, large chunks of population in PPP strongholds were not counted at all, thus drastically reducing the overall population of at least three provinces.

In the second phase, he said the dates of counting were selectively extended, giving clear advantage to those who have always remained against the PPP. Taj Haider said that the so-called ‘digital counting’ was closed on midnight of 22nd May and the online population and household count figures were obtained by Sindh and other provinces through screen shots.

“Later started the pre-poll rigging third phase of cutting these figures down when reduced figures of population and households were given in envelopes to the participants of the CCI meeting,” he said.

He said in response to protests on reduction in population and household numbers from all corners, the CCI meeting was told that this had been done in order not to alter the existing number of National Assembly seats in provinces and to avoid the needed constitutional amendment in Article 51(3), which was not possible in the present situation.

Taj Haider said the district wise population figures were demanded by participants of CCI meeting and they were told that the figures were ready and would be distributed during the meeting. He said the district population figures were put on the website ‘after a week’ after further gross reductions of population and of average family sizes in rural areas, which remain the PPP stronghold.

Senator Taj Haider said in the present phase of pre-poll rigging, block populations and household figures have not been made public and are being manipulated to accommodate the major right wing political party, which is proposing extension in the constitutional election date in order to enhance its dwindling chances by manipulating delimitation of constituencies within the provinces.

He said if the number of National Assembly seats allotted to provinces remained unchanged, fresh delimitation was not required under the constitutional provisions.

The In-charge PPP Election Cell said appeals against delimitations, if any, could be heard by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) under the Election Act. Senator Taj Haider said as such, the ECP could easily hold the next general elections within the constitutionally mandated time frame, especially when the ECP had been provided an extra 30 days through dissolution of assemblies a few days ahead of the mandated time.

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