KARACHI - The Sindh Assembly on Monday jointly rejected the initial results of sixth population census of the country and Sindh in particular and demanded the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to immediately address the reservations in this regard.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also asked the lawmakers to carry out a survey themselves in their respective constituencies and submit correct results to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).  

The rejection came  at the Sindh Assembly session chaired by Deputy Speaker Sindh Syeda Shehla Raza on Monday during a debate on an adjournment motion in the house from Pakistan Muslim League-Functional lawmaker Nusrat Sehar Abbasi regarding erroneous result of Sindh population in sixth census of the country.

Lawmakers from government and opposition parties rejected the population figures of Sindh province in the sixth population census and demanded of the PBS to immediately address the grievances of Sindh in this regard.

Speaking on the issue, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah said that reservations expressed by the provincial government in census process were not considered by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics but despite of it they could not completely scrap the sixth population census as it would once again take them back to 1999.

“We do not want the entire process to be scraped instead we want the bureau of statistics to address the reservations,” he said adding that he had conveyed it to the PBS that if the process would not be transparent then it would instigate the masses in the province.

The chief minister said that they had asked the PBS to provide a copy of form 2 to the Sindh government and paste another copy to the PBS website but our suggestions were not accepted which ultimately casted doubts on the whole process.

“We were told that the process would be fair as army was involved in it but how could this be termed as a benchmark of transparency,” he asked.

He said that it was not only him who is saying the process was not fair instead reservations from the masses should be addressed properly. “Times are gone for door to door counting of people instead of it national identity cards should be used for determining the population and Nadra should register citizen and also devise a proper registration process for the children,” he suggested. He said that this process would be beneficial after 10 years when verification could be performed only through sending Nadra records to family and verifying them on a single click.  “Letters could be sent to people in future informing that their data is registered at this address and if they want to change it, they could inform Nadra authorities,” he said adding that the mistakes that happened during door-to-door campaigns could be avoided through modern techniques.

He further asked the lawmakers to carry out a survey in their blocks themselves and submit the records along with proofs to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

The mover of the motion, PML-F lawmaker Nusrat Sehar Abbasi said that they were astonished to see low figures of Sindh province in census results and only 4 million illegal immigrants live in Karachi of which a large number had acquired national identity cards.

“The population of Sindh is being shown 10 million less in the census results,” she said adding that the entire Sindh province is speaking out against this injustice and outright rejected these results.  MQM lawmaker Sabir Qaim Khani said that the reservations of the Sindh province were not addressed in the results and Nadra and National Bureau of Statistics stats are entirely different from each other.  “This data will be used to divide country’s resources in future therefore it is the need of the hour to address these concerns immediately,” he said.

MQM lawmaker Heer Soho said that all political forces of the Sindh province are on one page against the census process and how could it be possible that ratio of increase in Lahore population was more than Karachi despite mass migrations from different parts of the country to Karachi in past decade.

“Disputed census results will also create controversy regarding CPEC and people would rise for their rights if injustice was done to them,” she said.

MQM Parliamentary Leader Syed Sardar Ahmed said that the census results were fabricated and every month hundreds of thousand people come to Karachi but they were not counted. “Even those having one address of Karachi were not counted as Karachiites and were counted as residents of other provinces,” he said adding that ultimately the assembly seats of other provinces would increase despite people living in Karachi.

This is grave issue that should be addressed before carrying out any delimitation in Sindh province, he said.

Minister for Information Nasir Hussain Shah said that all political parties had reservations on the census process and they jointly reject it. “Why the census process that is being held after 19 years is not done properly,” he asked adding that the reservations of the province should be addressed. PPP MPA Javed Nagori said that the census issue was equally important to that of Kala Bagh Dam and the Bureau of Statistics had not counted millions of immigrants in the province.    

Differently abled persons’ quota enhanced

Meanwhile, the Sindh Assembly on Monday passed a bill titled the Sindh civil servants (amendment) bill, 2017 increasing the quota of differently abled people in the government to 5 percent from 2.5 percent. The house was informed that the provincial cabinet has decided to increase quota of differently abled people in government jobs.

Knife attacks in Karachi

Meanwhile, responding to an adjournment motion from MQM lawmaker Heer Soho regarding knife attacks in Karachi specially in East zone, the Minister for Law and Prisons Ziaul Hassan Lanjhar said that DIG East Zone had submitted a report detailing police steps in order to arrest the culprit involve in it and for many days no incident is being reported in this regard.

Heer Soho said in his motion that several attacks on women from knife wielding man on motorbike had created harassment among the women in the city.

“The culprit is yet to be arrested and is attacking the women on his will. People of the city are not ready to rely on the mere claims from the provincial government on it,” she said.  Lanjhar said that the DIG report submitted to him had stated that 13 knife attacks were reported in the city and such incidents were also reported in Rawalpindi, Sahiwal and some other parts of Punjab province,’ he said.  He said that the attacks in Punjab had similarities from Karachi attacks and even the age group, height and weight of the attacker looks similar to that of attacks in other parts of country.  He said that a culprit Waseem was arrested who was earlier involved in such attacks and investigations were progress to ascertain the facts. “DIG East Zone is taking updates on the case on daily basis and is involved with technical and forensic experts to ascertain the facts,” he said.

The motion was later rejected by the deputy Speaker Sindh Assembly Shehla Raza for not meeting the requirements. 

The House was later adjourned for Friday.