Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired a meeting of Council of Common Interests (CCI) on Monday and agreed for early legislation for delimitation of constituencies.

The government acknowledged right of the opposition parties to have results of sixth census reaffirmed.

All four provincial chief ministers participated in the meeting along with members of the federal government.

Sources privy to the government have claimed that National Assembly (NA) Speaker Ayaz Sadiq telephoned senior members of political parties to take them in confidence regarding the constitutional amendment.

He maintained that a solution to issues through the parliament would benefit all, and hoped that other parties would show a responsible behaviour.

The CCI meeting today witnessed another important development as finance minister Ishaq Dar was removed as a member by President Mamnoon Hussain on PM Abbasi’s recommendation, and a formal notification was issued in this regard.

Interior minister Ahsan Iqbal replaced Dar in the CCI bench to represent the federal government. It should be noted here that Dar is presently in London and is undergoing heart treatment.

Leaders of parliamentary parties in the National Assembly convened a meeting last week to deliberate over a bill on delimitation of constituencies but could not agree on the draft. However, the participants agreed that general elections should be held as scheduled, next year.

The meeting was summoned by NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq to strike a consensus.

The parliamentary leaders discussed different suggestions to reach an understanding on the bill for new delimitation of constituencies after sixth census was held earlier this year. The census was held after 19 years with opposition parties mainly Pakistan People s Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) disagreeing with the results.

PPP had earlier warned of not supporting the constitutional amendment unless the matter was moved through Council of Common Interests.

PTI also backed PPP’s reservations in the previous meeting, while JI had opposed the delimitation amendment and had submitted its recommendations to the house.