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National census to be held this year

02 March, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada on Tuesday informed the Senate that national census would be held this year and that it was delayed due to army engagement in operation Zarb-i-Azb.

Responding to a question during question hour, the minister said that the Council of Common Interests (CCI) in its meeting held on March 18, 2015 had decided that the census would be held in March, 2016 as per proposal of the Statistics Division.

However, the census was put off for the time being due to the army engagement in the operation. He said the funds would be shared jointly from the divisible pool by all provinces.

The minister said Pakistan Cricket Board is represented by 16 regions all over the country and Balochistan province has two regions — Quetta and Dera Murad Jamali.

Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurrram Dastagir informed the Senate that Pakistan embassies in various countries have issued 11,17,274 visas during the last five years.

Replying to a question, the minister on behalf of minister for Foreign Affairs, said that out of total, some 193,144 visas had been issued for India, 392,122 for Afghanistan, 15,609 for Bangladesh, 4918 for Russia, 312,735 for UK and 198,746 for USA.

He said that these visas were issued during the period from 2011-2015 and added that there were no specific quota or limit for issuing visas to any country.

To another question, he said Pakistan and India have discussed major disputes under the composite dialogue process including Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek and Wullar Barrage.

Additionally, any violation of Indus Water Treaty is also raised with India, he added.

Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan on Tuesday said Pakistan and India had agreed to restart comprehensive bilateral dialogue to address all outstanding issues.

Speaking in the senate regarding questions of the Ministry Foreign Affairs in the House, he said Pakistan wanted to resolve all the outstanding issues with India including Jammu and Kashmir but the progress with regard to comprehensive bilateral dialogue was stalled because of Pathankot incident.

Replying to another question, he said Pakistan had objections to the design of Kishanganga project by India and efforts were being made to address the issue at the level of Indus Basin Commission.

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi apprised the Senate that negotiations were underway with Bahrain to set up a hospital that would cater for the patients for liver transplant.

Responding to a question on behalf of Minister for National Health Services during question hour, he said currently there was no centre for liver transplant in the hospitals administered by the Federal Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination.

To another question, he said National Council for Homoeopathy had 21 members. A person was eligible to become member of the Council through election or nomination if he/she was holding degree/diploma of Homoeopathic System of Medicine and registered under Unani, Aryuvedic and Homoeopathic Practitioners Act, 1965, he said.

He said members of the Council were not salaried persons. They were only paid TA/DA on account of attending meetings and assignments.

The minister said that the Council established under Section 3 of Unani, Aryuvedic and Homoeopathic Practitioners Act, II of 1965.

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