KARACHI            -       The population of urban areas of Sindh particularly Karachi was deliberately underreported in the last census which was is an act of international crime.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan Convener and Federal Minister for Information Technology and Communication Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui alleged that while addressing a press conference at the party’s headquarter at Bahadurabad on Monday.

He said that people from every part of the country moved to Karachi for employment but surprisingly its population was decreasing instead of increasing, adding that half of urbanisation of Pakistan was reported in the city yet its population was not increasing.

He was of the view that Karachi’s population was reported around 16 million whereas Lahore’s population was shown about 11 million in the census. The representation of the city was decreased as its population was deliberately underreported which also curtailed its resources.

“Statistics show that worst injustice was done in the census that has no justification. We had expressed our reservations even before the census result was announced as we already knew that it was going to be rigged. We have adopted all legal procedures against this injustice at all possible forum including the assemblies and the apex court as our many important cases were pending in the courts for a long while,” Siddiqui added.

The federal minister said that the population of Karachi’s Central District reported in the census result was less than the number National Identity Cards issued by the National Database and Registration Authority which he said reflected that about half of the population was not reported. Besides, he added that there were 1866 blocks in other districts where the number of voters was more than the actual population.

The MQM-P Convener said that the first point of memorandum of understanding signed between them and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ahead of the formation of federal government was pertaining to census issue.

The MQM-P Senior Deputy Convener Amir Khan claimed that NADRA had replied to the Senate on a query of Pakistan People’s Party Senator Taj Haider in 2013 that more than 21 million NICs were issued in Karachi, adding that either the database authority was lying or the census was rigged.

“Our MNAs had raised this issue in the National Assembly on which it was decided in the Council of Common Interest to conduct five per cent audit of the census but the same was not done even after the lapse of much time,” he added. Khan said that the population of the city was not correctly counted every time which curtailed its resources and number of seats. The party’s parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly Kanwar Naveed Jameel said that flawed census cannot be termed a mistake as it was a conspiracy. He dwmanded of the Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to intervene and ensure fair counting.