Government replaces Ishaq Dar with Ahsan Iqbal at CCI

A meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) will be held today to discuss the results of the provisional census conducted this year.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will chair the meeting, which is attended by the four provincial chief ministers as well as the federal ministers for inter-provincial coordination, industries and production, and finance. However, according to a notification issued today, the seat of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who has been in London for around two weeks for medical treatment, has been replaced by Planning and Reforms Minister Ahsan Iqbal, sources informed. Iqbal also holds the portfolio of the Ministry of Interior.At present, Dar is facing a corruption case filed by the National Accountability Bureau in light of the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Panama Papers case. After Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi took office in August this year, he replaced Dar’s chairmanship of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet with himself. The CCI meeting, earlier scheduled at noon, will now take place around 4pm.The census has been a bone of contention between Sindh and the federal government, especially as it has led to an impasse vis-à-vis the required legislation on the delimitation of new constituencies as per the latest population count. Sindh claims it was undercounted in the new census, whereas the federal government rejects the charge.Parliamentary parties have failed to agree, despite several meetings, over the new delimitation of constituencies for the National Assembly.The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which is the ruling party in Sindh, demanded in the meetings that the matter must be resolved in a meeting of the CCI. However, despite the deadlock, all political parties represented in Parliament are in agreement that the next elections should not be delayed.