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Govt replaces ailing Ishaq Dar with Ahsan Iqbal as CCI member

LAHORE: The government on Monday notified Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal as a member of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) in place of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who is undergoing treatment abroad for heart complications.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will chair today a meeting of the eight-member council, comprising four provincial chief ministers, federal ministers for inter-provincial coordination, industries and production and interior affairs.

The CCI meets today in Islamabad with one-point agenda to discuss reservations of Sindh province about the Provisional Census Report 2017 to pave the way for fresh delimitation of constituencies and reallocation of seats in the National Assembly.

The meeting has been convened to break the deadlock over the mandatory constitutional amendment for delimitation of constituencies on the basis of Census 2017 to ensure timely elections.

The two major opposition parties in the National Assembly had been opposing the legislation, pressing the government to address their grievance with regard to the results of the recently held census.

The PPP and MQM had refused to accept the provisional census report, alleging that the population of Sindh had been drastically reduced.

The PPP had been calling for a CCI meeting to discuss the report before carrying out legislation for delimitation of constituencies and reallocation of seats on its basis.

The approval of the report is possible only if reservations of the Sindh government are addressed.

After a lot of wrangling, the federal government had bowed before the demand of the PPP and convened a CCI meeting to address the party’s reservations.

Earlier, leaders of all parliamentary parties in the National Assembly had agreed in sessions with Speaker Ayaz Sadiq on legislation for delimitation of constituencies in the light of new census figures and subsequently, the constitutional amendment bill was tabled in the assembly for approval.

However, the PPP and MQM backed out from their commitment to support the bill and insisted that their reservations with regard to the census figures should be addressed first.



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