ANI Photo | Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif chairs meeting to decide fate of Census 2023

Amid the division among Pakistan’s allied parties over the census issue, the fate of the new population is set to be decided on Saturday, The News International reported. 
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is chairing the meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) and it began in the federal capital with all the chief ministers and members of the federal cabinet in attendance.
If the CCI approves the census results, elections are likely to be delayed by a couple of months as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would need additional time to conduct the delimitation exercise afresh, as per The News International.
According to Dawn, the meeting of the CCI will decide whether the forthcoming elections will be held on the basis of the 2017 census or the fresh one conducted this year.
Results of the new census will be presented in the meeting and if approved, they will be notified and polls held accordingly. Otherwise, the polls will be conducted under the 2017 census.
Pakistan Peoples Party has already conveyed its reservations over the new census to the Centre, but MQM-P is gunning for the opposite, as per Dawn. 
This meeting came days after PakistanPM said that the upcoming elections in Pakistan would be held on the basis of the 2023 digital census, Dawn reported on Tuesday.
The premier, whose government is expected to hand over the country’s reins to a caretaker setup this August, shared this during a recorded interview on the Aaj News show ‘Faisla Aap Ka’, which was aired on Tuesday.“We have to hold the elections on the basis of the new census … When a census has been conducted, the [polls] should be held on its basis unless there is an obstacle that cannot be overcome. But I don’t see [any such hurdle],” Dawn quoted Sharif as saying.
He added that a meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) — the body that approves census results — was expected.
Sharif further said the census results would be referred to the CCI as soon as they were finalised.
Notably, PM Sharif’s statement is a deviation from that of his ministers’ previous assertions, who said that the upcoming election would be held on the basis of the 2017 census, Dawn reported.

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