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KARACHI: A body formed by several nationalist parties on Tuesday expressed its concern over the provisional result of the census and said that keeping in view the influx of people into Sindh the population growth rate of the province should have been 3.73 per cent instead of present 2.41pc.

The body — Sindh Population Census Monitoring Committee (SPCMC) — welcomed an apex court order directing the federal government to immediately implement the census report because the previous governments since 2008 had failed to comply with completion of this important task.

Speaking at a press conference here at Hyder Manzil, SPCMC convener and chief of the Sindh United Party Jalal Mehmood Shah requested the apex court to look into the apprehensions about the growth rate and play its role to dispel them.

Earlier, the meeting of the SPCMC was held at the residence of Mr Shah, which was attended by MPA Haji Shafi Jamote of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Dr Niaz Kalani of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Riaz Chandio of the Jeay Sindh Mahaz, Amanullah Shaikh of Awami Jamhoori Party, Nawaz Khan Zaore of the Jeay Sindh Liberal Front, Illahi Bux Bookik of JSQM, Ashraf Behlum of JSQM-Arisar, writers and intellectuals Prof Ejaz Qureshi, Syed Khuda Dino Shah, Syed Zain Shah and others.

The committee noted that the attitude of the Sindh government during the entire census process remained non-serious despite the fact that the house count and population survey was carried out through provincial employees; as such it was the moral responsibility of the government to make the census record public.

Mr Shah said: “As per our understanding the Sindh government at the recent meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) had agreed with the provisional result of the census, but it rejected the same only in media to hoodwink the people. We condemn the double standards of the Sindh government.”

In reply to a question, Mr Shah said: “We do have our reservations but we are not in favour of rejecting the total results of the census as its final report is yet to be made public ... repeating the entire process at this stage is not possible but a sample survey in Karachi and any other district of the province can be carried out only on the orders of the apex court.”

He said if the Sindh government was sincere in rejecting the provisional results of the census it should take up the matter in the next CCI meeting.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2017