KARACHI - Stressing the need for holding the upcoming census in a transparent manner, speakers at an All Parties’ Conference (APC) held here on Thursday said the provinces were not authorised to interfere in this; however, a non-transparent census would be a joke with the nation.

APC, which was hosted by Pasban-e-Pakistan on the topic ‘Prerequisites for a transparent census’, was attended by leaders of various political parties.

Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed, who presided over the moot, said the provinces had no right to meddle in the census.

He was of the view that MQM had filed a petition in the court about the census only to get political mileage.

He hoped that census would help in mitigating the sufferings of poor masses. Wajih sought further clarification on the issue of increasing census blocks.

“Census and elections are two different things. As per the rules of the United Nations with respect to the census, it is the responsibility of every country to carry out this exercise,” he said, and added, “Census helps properly plan the distribution of resources to cater for the population and it also helps in determining seats in the National Assembly.”

He added that in Sindh there was 60:40 ratio in government jobs for rural and urban citizens.

“This quota system has already harmed the country to a great extent,” he pointed out.

He further said that in Karachi people had settled from different parts of the country, and all these people should be counted in the census.

He said it was expected that in this census urban population of Sindh would be more than its rural population. “And this fact annoys the rulers of Sindh,” he noted.

He termed the claim of the Sindh government that 3 million people in rural Sindh did not have the CNICs as a pack of lies. “The provincial government wants NADRA to issue fake CNICs to show more rural population,” he added.

He also brushed aside the fears of Baloch people as unfounded. “The Afghanis living in Pakistan should also be counted, but they would not be included in the Pakistani population,” he added.

He said that population in Punjab was growing slowly, and its elite class also feared losing its grip on power as the seats of Punjab in the National Assembly might decrease as a result of the coming census.

“This is why the elite class in whole Pakistan is not happy with the census,” he opined.

He criticised MQM London, MQM Pakistan, Pak Sarzameen Party and other parties, saying they had a ‘Wadera mentality’, and had done nothing for the poor people of Pakistan.

Pasban President Altaf Shakoor said that it was of utmost importance that a fair and transparent census is held; otherwise, it would be not augur well for this nation and country.

“We should learn a lesson from the Fall of Dhaka,” he said, and added, “Terrorism is directly related to the deprivation of people, injustices and inequality.”

He said the feeling of deprivation turns the dejected people into suicide bombers. He said all the basic information about the census should be shared with public to make the process fully transparent.

PTI Humayun Khan Mandokhel said all people living in Pakistan, irrespective of they are Pakistanis or non-Pakistanis, should be counted in the census.

He emphasised that the exercise should be held in entire Sindh simultaneously and its results should be computerized.

“The families living in multi-storied buildings should be considered as separate families,” he suggested.

JUI-Fazal Qari Muhammad Usman, Jamia Banoria head Maulana Mufti Muhammad Naeem, lawyer Mehfoozun Nabi, Dr Sher Shah, Tajir Ittehad leader Atiq Mir, Pak Muslim Alliance Ali Raza, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI ) Sindh chief Dr Merajul Huda Siddiqui, Nazim F Haji, Ayaz Latif Palejo, Naeem Qureshi Advocate, Siraj Ahmed, Hafiz Ahmed Ali, Azad bin Haider, Hakeem Syed Nasar Ali Askri, Shahid Ghauri, Amanullah Haneef, Asad Iqbal Advocate and others also spoke on the occasion.

Governor asks people

to ensure their

representation in census

Meanwhile, Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair on Thursday urged the people of Sindh to keenly participate in the census being held from March 15, and cooperate with census staff as the actual counts would open the doors of prosperity for them.

He expressed these views while briefing the media men on the Census-2017 at Governor’s House.

Principal Secretary Mohammad Saleh Ahmed Farooqui, Provincial Census Commissioner Abdul Aleem Memon, Pak-Army, NADRA and others representatives of different institutions were also present on the occasion.

Terming the holding of census a vital phase, the governor said that Pakistan Army’s support was being sought for the purpose.

He said that Population and Housing census in the province would be held in two phases.

“The census staff along with the Pak Army personnel would collect the details by going door to door,” he said, and added, “10 to 15 minutes have been fixed for filling in a single form while about 28149 staff from Education, Revenue, Municipal and other departments have been trained in this regard.”