KARACHI: The population of Pakistan’s largest city has swelled from 16.02 million in 2017 to 20.3m, as per the approved results of the National Digital Census 2023.

However, even with the addition of 4m people, experts believe that this will not lead to an increase in the urban centre’s representation in the National Assembly.

The results of the latest census depict an increase of 4.3m people. Of the city’s seven districts, East emerges as the most populous with 3.9m people, followed by Central with 3.8m , Korangi with 3.1m , West with 2.6m , Malir with 2.4m, South with 2.3m and Keamari with a population of over 2m people.

As per the formula used for delimitation, experts Dawn spoke to on Monday felt that an increase in the number of provincial assembly seats for Karachi could become due.

However, in the absence of a constitutional amendment to increase or decrease the number of seats for the legislature, it seems highly unlikely that any such change would be reflected once fresh delimitation is carried out.

Experts foresee no change in number of NA seats from Sindh

As per calculations made by electoral experts, Karachi should gain one provincial seat each in the Central, East and Malir districts. However, the latest count indicates that the province of Sindh may lose one seat each from Khairpur and Sanghar, which means that in total, only one seat would need to be added to the provincial assembly as per the traditionally used formula.

Sources privy to the exercise told Dawn that the latest population figure, which has increased from 207.68m counted in 2017 to 241.49m after the fresh census, certainly demands fresh delimitation, but would hardly create any impact in terms of increasing the representation of people in parliament.

“An analysis of the latest census numbers doesn’t allow for an increase in National Assembly seats in any part of the country. The size and number of the National Assembly is likely to stay the same, and parties would require the same number of seats to form a majority, as it was in 2018,” said a source privy to future prospects of the delimitation exercise.

Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2023

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