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PM Shehbaz directs redressal of MQM-P reservations over census

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  • Party shares concerns about ongoing census.
  • It also informs premier about Karachi’s issues.
  • MQM-P has demanded fresh, impartial census.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday issued directives to relevant authorities to resolve the concerns and issues of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) over the ongoing census.

In a statement released by the PM Office, the development came during a meeting between the premier and MQM-P delegation — comprising Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Information Technology and Telecommunication Minister Syed Aminul Haque — while Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was also present.

During the meeting, the MQM-P delegation congratulated the prime minister for the legislation of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023, the statement read.

The delegation shared their reservations with the prime minister regarding the ongoing digital census in Pakistan and also informed him about the issues in Karachi.

A day earlier, MQM-P senior leader Farooq Sattar rejected the ongoing first-ever digital census — which is the seventh national census in the country — being conducted by the Sindh government employees.

The party’s decision came days after Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) chief statistician Dr Naeem Uz Zafar said that “it is not necessary that Karachi’s population will show as 30 million” after the census.

Sattar expressed fears that a plan has been devised to show less population than the actual headcount of Sindh’s urban areas.

“46% of the population in Karachi has been counted,” he said, adding that it seemed that the total population of the metropolis would be shown around 20 million in the census.

The MQM-P leader also demanded a fresh census conducted by an impartial and private sector company. He also asked for access to the census data.

According to PBS chief statistician, about 60% of Pakistan has been enumerated in the ongoing country’s seventh population and house count.

This is the first time the country’s population is being counted digitally. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and MQM-P have time and again raised concerns over the population count in the port city.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, a part of the incumbent government himself, had threatened to quit the ruling alliance and said that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had grave concerns over the ongoing census.

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The Pakistan Army’s pivotal role in the socioeconomic development of Balochistan

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Along with the province administration, the Pakistan Army has played a key role in leading a number of socioeconomic projects. A determined effort has been undertaken to solve the issues and utilise the potential of the province, realising the intrinsic relationship between the development of Balochistan and the advancement of Pakistan overall.

In the face of security problems, the Pakistan Army has adopted a multipronged strategy that includes peacekeeping as well as socioeconomic development. By means of focused awareness initiatives, communities have been motivated to seize mainstream chances, which has resulted in the voluntary surrender of militants and opened the door to a peaceful cohabitation.

The Army and the Balochistani administration have placed a high priority on the construction of educational facilities, particularly in outlying areas, recognising the role that education plays as a catalyst for advancement. By equipping the public with the knowledge and skills necessary for a better future, this strategic focus seeks to free the people from the hold of extremism.

In addition, the Pakistan Army’s unflinching security has helped to usher in a new era of growth, supported by strategic initiatives like the Gwadar Port and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Army’s actions to protect CPEC projects have received international recognition, and the Chinese Minister of National Defence has praised them for their commitment to regional peace.

The Reko Diq project is a highly promising venture that has the potential to become the largest gold and copper mine globally. This grand project has the potential to reduce Pakistan’s debt load and spark massive economic expansion, drawing in international capital and improving the nation’s economic prospects.

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$13.44 billion in liquid foreign reserves

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The State Bank’s foreign reserves were $8,040.3 million, whereas Pakistan’s total liquid foreign reserves as of the week ending April 5, 2024, were US$ 13,441.7 million.

The State Bank of Pakistan said that during the week under review, the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves dropped by $0.1 million to $8,040.3 million in a statement released here on Monday.

It further stated that commercial banks’ net foreign reserves were reported to be $5,401.4 million.

The nation’s total liquid foreign reserves as of the previous week, which concluded on March 29, 2024, were $13,378.9 million.

These included the $8,040.4 million in foreign reserves held by the central bank and the $5,338.5 million in net foreign reserves held by commercial banks.

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Today, IHC will hear Qureshi, the founder of PTI,’s arguments against his conviction in the CCI case.

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The PTI founder and Shah Mehmood Qureshi will appeal their convictions in the cipher case to the Islamabad High Court today (Tuesday).

The hearing will be conducted by a division bench that consists of Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Chief Justice Aamir Farooq of the Islamabad High Court.

The attorneys will present their arguments regarding the appeals against the sentencing during the hearing.

However, Bushra Bibi, the wife of the PTI founder, has filed a petition to have her medical examined, and this plea will also be heard today.

Bushra Bibi’s application will be considered by Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb. The petitioner has voiced her concern that the food she was provided was toxic.

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