KARACHI: Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal on Friday accused the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf of “backstabbing” the people of Karachi by accepting the National Census 2017 that showed an “incorrect” population of the metropolis.
Scores of party workers, sympathisers and area people participated in a protest demonstration organised by the PSP in Liaquatabad No 10, underneath the Liaquatabad flyover, in protest over the acceptance of the results of the Karachi census by the federal cabinet.
Carrying party flags, placards and banners inscribed with the demands ‘Karachi ko us ka haq do, Give Karachi its right, Count us correctly’, etc, the protesters demanded that the people of the country’s commercial capital be counted as per their real population.
PSP president Anis Kaimkhani and other senior leaders were also present.
Addressing the protesters, Mr Kamal said despite getting 14 NA and 25 provincial assembly seats in the 2018 general election from Karachi the PTI took an “anti-Karachi step” when it accepted the census results.
He said that despite the fact that the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) had issued 24 million computerised national identity cards in Karachi, the population of Pakistan’s largest city was shown as just 16m in the 2017 census.
Kamal vows to continue protests if city’s people ‘pushed to the wall’
Equally blaming the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan for its role in accepting the census, he said that it was the MQM-P which raised the issue of seven million ‘missing persons’ of Karachi in the census during its 2018 election campaign, but it did nothing when the cabinet approved the population count.
“The government could have collapsed if its [MQM] ministers submitted resignation from cabinet,” he said, adding: “They are still part of the government and enjoying perks and privileges and doing nothing for the people.”
He said the Pakistan Peoples Party was silent over the issue of census because it knew if the people of Karachi were counted correctly then whoever won seats in Karachi would make the government in Sindh.
He said PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was so perturbed by the arrest of PML-N leader Capt Safdar that he held a fiery press conference and spoke to the army chief. “But why is he silent over the undercounting of people in Karachi?” he asked.
The PSP chief warned of more protests in every nook and corner of the metropolis if the people of Karachi continued to be pushed against the wall.
He demanded that the prime minister and Sindh governor listen to the voice of the people and reverse the decision to accept the census result.
Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2021