KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan said on Monday that the Council of Common Interests (CCI) should not have accepted the controversial results of the sixth population census held in 2017 and it could have announced a new census on the basis of the provisional results.
“But, it is a matter of great satisfaction for us that the highest forum of the federation has acknowledged that the 2017 census was flawed. The CCI has recognised the MQM’s stance [on the census] otherwise it would not have decided to hold a new census within a period of four years,” senior MQM-P leader Senator Faisal Subzwari told a press conference here.
He said the MQM was successful in convincing the federal government that the census was flawed as numerous meetings were held in which MQM representatives showed the government functionaries Karachi’s population-to-vote ratio under which population was shown zero but number of voters in electoral rolls were 250.
When asked why the MQM-P thought that the CCI acknowledged that the 2017 census was flawed when it accepted the results, he replied that the decision to immediately hold a new census itself indicated that the earlier population count was not transparent and bogus.
Party says Karachi’s population numbers were manipulated in a big way
“The decision to hold a new census is not a promise of a political party but the announcement from the highest constitutional forum of the state of Pakistan. MQM does not recognise the results of the 2017 census but welcomes the CCI’s decision to hold the early census and it will ensure its timely implementation,” he added.
Accompanied by other leaders, he said that Karachi’s population numbers were manipulated in a big way in the census and when the MQM-P formed a coalition with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in August 2018 it was its first demand that the federal government should hold an audit of five per cent census blocks in Karachi to ascertain anomalies in the results.
He said the MQM was the only party that had approached the Supreme Court when the provisional results of the census were announced and till today its petition was pending before the apex court.
Senator Subzwari recalled that it was only the MQM-P that had written a dissenting note when the federal cabinet accepted the results of the 2017 census in December last year.
He also criticised the Sindh government for not fulfilling its responsibility to curb price hike in the province, particularly in Karachi, saying the deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners had failed to take action against profiteering.
He said that it was condemnable that the people who migrated from East Pakistan were not being issued computerised national identity cards. He said that his party had raised the issue with the federal government and all such CNICs should be issued immediately.
Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2021