HYDERABAD: A member of the Grand Democratic Alliance formed against the Sindh government has expressed serious reservations over the proposed census.

Hussain Abdullah Haroon also warned that Sindh would be affected the most if the whole exercise lacked transparency.

Speaking at a news conference at the local press club on Tuesday, Mr Haroon said Sindh’s share in the divisible pool was just 19.2 per cent which should have been 27.5 per cent. A rough estimate put the house count in Sindh at 15 million, he said, adding that people continued to settle in the province from upcountry so there was a possibility that this figure would be on the higher side.

Even those 15 million houses, he said, could not be counted in three days for lack of enumerators and that house count could not be verified.

He said Sindh’s house count stood at six per cent as compared to 7.4 per cent of Punjab and 9.6 per cent of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa whereas national average was 6.8 per cent. He said that given the unabated settlement of people in Sindh from upcountry, this figure appeared to be incorrect.

Mr Haroon regretted that the Sindh government was not playing its role in making the census transparent, though the census results were bound to impact life of everyone in Sindh for it involved the question of resource distribution. He said he did not want that census was put off.

He said language’s box in the enumeration form did not mention languages of Kachhi, Gilgiti and Gujrati communities when others like Hindko were mentioned. He suggested that all regional languages should be reflected in the form.

He said Urdu was a national language whether one liked it or not, but it was unnecessarily mentioned in the form. Illegal immigrants should not be counted in the census, he added. He said those living in Sindh since Z. A. Bhutto’s era were considered its residents.

Mr Hussain said he was part of the grand alliance to give an alternative to Sindh and whenever he felt that it was not delivering, he would dissociate himself from it.

He said Sindh was being run from Dubai and London and even the Sindh Building Control Authority was being managed from Canada.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2016

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